Thousands of yabbies have been filmed climbing out of Australia’s third-longest river by a 62-year-old bush tucker enthusiast.
Despite receiving 50 personal messages asking for the location, regional music promoter Mark Hawke said he’s keeping it a secret. “There’s a hell of a lot of them, but I don’t want to see 10,000 people out there,” he told Yahoo News Australia. “At the end of the day, it’d be rape and pillage time virtually.”
Pushed to give a clue, he jokes that he's happy to narrow it down to a 290km stretch of the Darling River somewhere between Bourke and Wilcannia, in remote western NSW.
Why are the yabbies crawling out of the river?
The video has been viewed over 220,000 times on TikTok, and attracted hundreds of comments.
It shows thousands of yabbies, crawling on top of each other, searching for a shading position under a weir.
Many social media users were concerned about the welfare of the creature, however, the situation is likely a naturally occurring event prompted by a lack of oxygen in the water after leaf litter washed in during a storm. While blackwater events are known to kill fish in their thousands, yabbies are able to climb out of the river until conditions improve.
Reason most Aussies are unaware of yabbie events
Mr Hawke, who describes himself as "a bit of a bushy", rides his Harley Davidson around regional Australia, spruiking local bands and reviewing motels and restaurants. He plans to travel to the yabby hotspot again in a couple of weeks. “I’ll just have a few beers at the local pub, then sit around for a few days catching and eating yabbies.”
One secret he’s happy to share is how he likes to prepare yabbies when he goes bush. “I actually don’t mind them straight on the coals,” he said. “I do them in garlic sometimes, other times just with a bit of vinegar or salt and pepper. I’ve done them chilli, mornay too which is a pretty flash dish.”
“I don’t have a favourite way to have them, but if you have enough of them you don’t want to have them the same way every night,” he said. “Seeing this many yabbies is a bit of an event, but it does happen a lot. People don’t realise though because there’s not that many people poking around the backcountry.”
If you know the location of this yabby hotspot, Mr Hawke and Yahoo News Australia ask that you don't share it online.
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