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Manu’s interest in survival training began the day she was born in far North Queensland, Australia. From an early age, Manu had to adapt and improvise to what the tough environment threw at her. Manu was exposed not only to the dangers of farming activity, but also the extreme climate of high heat and humidity. It was learned at an early age to use the source of sugar cane and coconut for hydration while playing outside the access of fresh water.
Among many experiences in which the environment taught her to rely upon her instincts are the times when, at age 9, while attending to the chickens after sunset, she stepped barefoot on a coral snake by accident. She continued to apply pressure until her father could help her, and at age 11 when kayaking through the mangroves, ended in tragedy, when a saltwater crocodile barged the kayak tipping it over and attacked her dog. She credits her quick reflexes and the dog’s sacrifice with the reason why she’s still alive. At age 17, Manu joined the military and served over 8 years. Her last 4 years she served in Combative Deployment Operations, in which every year they had to do two weeks of wilderness jungle survival and up to 3 months training in the desert. The military helped her adapt her natural instincts into a more educated form of survival, tailored to the specifics of surviving during wartime. Again, her instincts came into play. Military tactics require sleeping on the ground, and one night a snake crawled into her sleeping bag, but instead of panicking she waited until first light to alarm the CO of the situation. After unzipping her sleeping bag, they found a King Brown snake had made its home between her legs! Again, Manu escaped without injury.
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