As most non-Aussies know, Australia is full of all kinds of animals which are ready to jump out on you at a moment’s notice and kill you. For example, dingos, crocodiles, snakes, sharks, spiders, etc. They wonder how it is that most Aussies actually survive as long as they do.
And then there are kangaroos, those cuddly animals which hop instead of walking, and the mothers carry their babies in a cute little pouch. We sometimes affectionately call them “skippies”. But … kangaroos can kill too. Here are two recent news stories:
A mother living near Hervey Bay in Queensland heard her six-year old son screaming last Tuesday (17th August), and ran outside to find a kangaroo had pinned her two-year old daughter to the ground, and was attacking her. The mother said “The kangaroo was about the same size as me, and I thought I could take it on, but it was really strong.”
She was pushed to the ground and suffered bruises, but was able to pull her daughter away from the kangaroo as a neighbour’s yell distracted it. The daughter (who was unconscious) was taken to hospital and required 17 stitches.
Another story from about ten weeks ago reports that two women who were cycling in South Australia’s Clare Valley were attacked by a kangaroo which jumped onto one of them from a ledge near the road. She suffered cracked ribs and internal injuries. A doctor told her she was lucky to be alive.
We need to remember that although kangaroos are herbivores, and have no plans to eat you, they are formidable fighters and can certainly kill you (and/or your dog) if they’re cornered or if they think you’re threatening them. Their main weapons are their large, razor-sharp claws, particularly the ones on their hind legs. They can rear up on their tails, then rip downwards with their back legs and slice you open.
But we still love our skippies.