Camel Bites Steve Hartman in Australia

In "Everybody Has a Story," every two weeks someone threw a dart at a map of America. CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman then went wherever it stuck, flipped through the local phone book, and picked a name at random. He then did a story on someone at that house. With the help of space-age technology, Hartman goes global as he continues - "Everybody in the World has a Story."

Day 9: DOCKER RIVER, Australia

We had hoped to pick a subject and start shooting our story today. Instead, we spent most of the day trying to find someone, anyone, willing to cooperate with us.

As of now, the only really outgoing character I've found in Docker River is a camel named Lazarus. He was orphaned a few years ago and raised by one of the locals. He has no fear of humans. Until we arrived, he'd even been considered "friendly." Indeed, residents of Docker River swear he definitely never tried to eat anybody before - at least, not until I came to town.


Cameraman Bob Caccamise caught the attack on Flipcam video. Despite my fears of becoming the laughing stock of YouTube, I've agreed to embed the footage here in this blog.

As for our search for a human subject, by sunset I had assembled a list of 5 people who said they might consent to an interview. They were all still far from being committed.

Read Steve Hartman's Travel Blogs:

Meeting Shy Aboriginals in Australia's Outback

Headed Down a Dirt Road, With No Road Maps

Halfway Around the World in Four Days

Looking for a Story in Cordoba, Argentina

Everybody in the World Has a Story, Round 2

If I don't convince at least one person by tomorrow, I'm in deep trouble. I can't believe the CBS News bean counters will take kindly to me spending thousands of dollars on a boondoggle to the outback.

Camel attack notwithstanding, I can't even say it's been a very exciting adventure thus far. There are no accommodations. We have to sleep in the car. There isn't even any place to eat except for a little cinderblock takeout stand. Before I arrived in Docker River, when I thought of dining in the Australian outback, I imagined kangaroo tail and emu drumsticks. The reality is corndogs and fries. I go to bed tonight stinking of fried food and camel drool.

Only thing I need more than a shower -- is a story.

Check back with Couric and Co. for Steve's travel blogs. The rest of Steve's stories are on his "Assignment America" page.

  • Steve Hartman

    Steve Hartman has been a CBS News correspondent since 1998, having served as a part-time correspondent for the previous two years.