Matt Dodd

Matt Dodd

sent out by Grace Bible Church to plant churches among the Ndo people

Wild Animals of Papua New Guinea

Someone recently asked us if we have seen a cassowary yet (Don’t know what that is? Feel free to Google it!).  I answered with the disappointing no.  I was about to send them a few pictures of the animals that we have seen so far–and then decided to share those with the world!  

The first thing you have to understand is that Papua New Guinea, while a rainforest, is not like the Amazon. In all of our travels, we have seen actually very few animals, birds included.

That doesn’t mean they don’t exist–they have just become very adept at hiding since the reality here in the mountains is that there is so little meat that if someone sees a bird or any kind of an animal, they are quick to kill it and eat it for dinner. 

Conversations with my language helper about animals in PNG usually go something like this:

Me: ‘What kind of animals do you have here?”

Language Helper: “We have this kind of animal.”

Me: “Can you eat it?” (it’s usually close to lunch, and I’m hungry…seems like a natural question)

Language Helper: “Yes.” (that’s usually the answer.  There just seems to be a lot of things you can eat here)

Me: “I’d like to see this animal…and maybe eat it.”

I’ve heard from him about snakes that can swallow animals whole or sting you with their tails, birds that build elaborate houses or that lay eggs big enough to feed a few people, lizards that are the size of a leg, fresh water shrimp and eels, the list goes on.   

Here are some pictures of the animals we have seen thus far!  Hopefully in the years to come, I’ll only add to this post with new discoveries!

We’ll start with some insects.  There are lots and lots of different insects in Papua New Guinea!


A giant praying mantis…

There are lots of big and beautiful butterflies and moths here, but it’s difficult to take pictures of them. This one was holding still for some reason so I was able to get a shot of it.

There are some wild feline creatures that live out there…

Oh wait, that’s just our cat..guarding our house (she’s such a good guard cat).

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