Posted For: Willie Wonka
An elderly man has died after an apparent attack by his pet kangaroo in Western Australia‘s Great Southern region.
Paramedics were called to the man’s property in Redmond, near Albany on Sunday night after the 77-year-old was found by a relative with serious injuries.
Police were called to assist after the kangaroo became aggressive and prevented paramedics from accessing the injured man, who tragically died at the scene.
Police believe it was a wild animal which aged less than 12-months-old which was being kept as a pet.
‘The kangaroo was posing an ongoing threat to emergency responders and the attending officers were required to euthanize the kangaroo by firearm,’ a spokesman said.
Emergency services are yet to release details of the man’s injuries.
A report will be prepared for the coroner.
The mauling happened on a property in Redmond, 27km north-west of Albany.
It’s the first deadly kangaroo attack in Australia in 86 years.
The last fatal attack was in 1936 when hunter William Cruickshank, 38 tried to rescue his two dogs from a fight with a kangaroo in Hillston in western NSW.
He suffered a broken jaw and extensive head injuries and later died in hospital.
The Great Southern region is home to the western grey kangaroo, which can grow to be about 70 kilograms and 97 to 223 centimetres from head to tail.
WHY KANGAROOS ATTACK
Kangaroos are mostly docile creatures, and interactions with humans are infrequent.
They can be unpredictable when they feel they are threatened, or that their territory is being encroached on – whether by a human or another animal.
Fewer than five people each year seek treatment for kangaroo attacks in NSW.
The most common reasons for a kangaroo to attack a human are:
They see the person as a threat or a sparring opponent. They often will try to protect their group or offspring.
The kangaroo has lost its instinctive fear of humans – generally as a result of humans feeding or handling it from a young age.
The kangaroo is in an unfamiliar terrain or has recently moved habitats. Natural disasters like drought and fires can force a kangaroo out of its home and closer to roads and walking trails to seek out food and water, which poses a threat.
When a kangaroo attacks a person, the will generally do so in a similar matter to fighting another kangaroo, using their paws to push or ‘grapple’ the opponent to the ground.
How to avoid threatening a kangaroo:
• Do not walk directly toward the kangaroo.
• Do not stand up tall, stare or hold your arms out towards a kangaroo.
• Do not go near male kangaroos that are sparring, fighting or showing off their size and strength to each other.
• Do not move between a female and her joey.
• Do not allow your dog to approach a kangaroo. Kangaroos will vigorously defend themselves against dogs, and this may draw you into a dangerous situation.