Image: Tom Brakefield via Getty
While Australia isn’t one of the world’s biggest hotspots for scams, warnings for travellers heading Down Under do exist, and for those of us who live here, some of them are a bit perplexing.
Among the scam warnings for travellers heading to Australia are the usual culprits you may see all over the globe: taxi scams, the risk of crime at entertainment areas and timeshare scams. But, one in particular will no doubt have you scratching your head: Kangaroo Essence.
Travel scam warning website travelscams.org lists Kangaroo essence as the number two scam to look out for when on holiday in Australia. Apparently, there’s a chance tourists might be peddled the capsules, which claim to be made of red kangaroo testicles and penises as a product that will enhance their sex lives.
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A particular brand of red kangaroo essence Wealthy Health says in its product description, “This large, powerful animal is the most magnificent of all the Kangaroos. It can leap up to 3.6m into the air and has a top speed of 65 km/hour. It alone illustrates the Kangaroo’s amazing strength, vitality and sexual energy.”
Travelscams.org says the product is “frequently promoted to tourists as a product for sexual enhancement.” But, the claims of its benefits are unproven. Further, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns consumers should not use it as it contains sildenafil, an active ingredient in Viagra.
“This undeclared ingredient may interact with nitrates found in some prescription drugs such as nitroglycerin and may lower blood pressure to dangerous levels. Men with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart disease often take nitrates,” the FDA's warning reads.
If kangaroo penises and balls could really improve virility, surely we would have heard about it. Perhaps tourists should pick themselves up this kind of souvenir while they’re at it: