Killer Kangaroos?

Submitted: Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 11:33
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I recently spent 5 days in the bush in north central Victoria (beautiful weather) in an area with quite a few kangaroos. On one occasion a mob of 15 or 20 of them came through and around my camp most of them just kept on going but two or three, including one large male? stopped about 30m away to have a good look at me. After 10 seconds or so I waved my arms around a bit hoping to scare him off but I think he thought I was just being silly and remained where he was. After another 10 seconds or so I started to walk towards the 4WD and he decided he’d had enough of me and hopped off. Enjoyable encounter from my perspective.

Question:
I’ve seen hundreds of roos in the bush over the years and never had any problems with them but I have, occasionally, heard of people being attacked by them. Is this myth or such a rare event than it’s not worth considering or should we be a bit cautious of the large roos in particular?

Mike Harding

mike_harding@fastmail.fm
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Reply By: ellmcg - Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 11:39

Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 11:39
One of my classmates got kicked by a large male kangaroo on a primary school camp. I think she just got in its personal space...
AnswerID: 179838

Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 15:07

Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 15:07
Socceroo I guess!!
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Reply By: Gerry - Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 11:45

Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 11:45
Had an experience at Mungo in the hot weather early this year. The 'roos there are obviously used to people and were extremely thirsty due to the hot dry spell in the area. Not only did they 'steal' some adjacent camper's water bottles, but actually ripped the plastic water pipes out from under our friends caravan during the night. He woke up to a heck of a commotion under his van and by the time he got out there, the damage was done and his tank was empty with a whole bunch of them underneath lapping it all up off the dirt. Fortunately he had two tanks. They can get aggressive if you threaten them of if you have something they want.
Gerry
AnswerID: 179841

Follow Up By: Member - JohnR (Vic)&Moses - Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 13:49

Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 13:49
Facinating Gerry, do you think they had previous experience of it or plumbing knowledge. Seems a long shot to think either.
Cheers,
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Follow Up By: Gerry - Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 14:32

Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 14:32
Actually John, I should have mentioned that there was a small leak in the pipe so they obviously detected a drip and the rest followed on from there.
Mind you Skippy would probably have been smart enough to work it out. :)
Gerry
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Follow Up By: Member - JohnR (Vic)&Moses - Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 15:24

Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 15:24
Ah, they were obviously trying to stop the leak Gerry. Better get in their CVs as plumbers. They will need to get a blue healer next to work with them.
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Reply By: ImEasy - Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 12:04

Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 12:04
We always thought of them as Boxing Kangaroo's, but last time camping I witnessed a couple of Big Roo's and a a couple of Bunyip's going for it, looked like a Pub brawl, but from what I could see, one of the Roo's had one of the Bunyip's in a headlock, and belting the beejesus out of him, while the other Roo was doing some form of Ancient Kung Fu, possibly Wing Chun, the other Bunyip decided to run off.

So, please be careful out there, especially the Large Roo's, they have evolved, and if provoked, they could possibly Roundhouse kick you!
AnswerID: 179845

Reply By: cuffs - Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 12:05

Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 12:05
On a school camp we returned from a hike in the Flinders, there were 2 roo's amongst the 10 tents, one scratching at a tent. One of the lads ran forward yelling, the roo turned back on his tail and with his hind feet scratch the lad. Twenty eight stiches and allmost disemboweled I learned a lesson on approaching animals in the bush.(Do it quietly)
AnswerID: 179846

Reply By: Dean (SA) - Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 12:18

Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 12:18
Was'nt there some movie or doco showing a kangaroo getting his revenge by shooting at the roo shooters, this impressed the girl!
Dean
AnswerID: 179848

Follow Up By: Member - Oldplodder (QLD) - Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 20:32

Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 20:32
Wsn't the first crocodile dundee movie, having a go at the roo shooters?
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Reply By: Member - Steve (ACT) - Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 12:20

Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 12:20
After the fires and still in drought we had three attacks in a 3 month period, and a warning to be careful when walking in the parkland around here.

There was one incident in an area where dogs are allowed off lead where some dogs chased a roo and it went into some water the dogs followed and the roo drowned one of them, apparently this is a defence roos will use with predator, maybe a warning to those who camp with dogs to be aware of! (I'm aware this is a little different because it was defending itself)

There were also some attacks that were unprovoked

Sandy
AnswerID: 179850

Follow Up By: Member - Steve (ACT) - Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 13:40

Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 13:40
I guess there is also the issue of percieved threat, we might think what we're doing is not at all threatening, don't mean the animal involved sees it the same way!
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Reply By: ro-dah-o (WA) - Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 12:33

Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 12:33
it would be the same for any animal I would think (including humans), If they feel threatened, they will take an appropriate course of action.

I have seen a roo kill a dog, but the dog chasd after it,. the roo acted accordingly, it felt threatened, so it defended it self.

All (most) living creatures have the fight or flight response, what it used would depend on past experience, learnt behaviours and other elements present at the time (e.g do they have young at the time etc)
AnswerID: 179854

Follow Up By: ro-dah-o (WA) - Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 12:38

Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 12:38
forget to offer my thoughts on the last part of your question, treat all wild animals with caution. many animals would have had minimal interaction by humans, especially ones in big, loud and unusual looking vehicles!! they are wild because of just that- they are wild!! If they were domesticated it might be a different story, we are strange creatures to them, so they will treat us accordingly.

if they want interaction or have been 'tamed', they will aproach you when good and ready. As for waking up and finding 4 foot fury marsupial laying on one of your fellow hikers bed roll................keep calm and run away!! Ha ha. only kidding, keep your cool and try not to startle them. they will move on eventually.
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Reply By: Redback - Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 12:44

Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 12:44
Jeez wild animals being unpredictable, der!!!

Baz.
AnswerID: 179859

Reply By: Brid from Cost Effective Maintenance - Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 13:11

Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 13:11
There has been some coverage of roos attacking people on one of those current affairs programs, some time ago. I also was speaking to some people in Dingo (Central Qld), whose neighbour was attacked pretty badly by a roo...apparently unprovoked. Did a fair bit of damage by the account I was given. Perhaps part of the problem might stem from hand feeding.
AnswerID: 179865

Reply By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 13:19

Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 13:19
I think the wildlife parks and zoo's are a little to blame. People go up and pat them and think that they'll be the same when they are out bush. We were always taught as kids to steer clear of roo's, espcially the big red's (I grew up in the Pilbara). Have heard stories of them being hit by cars, flying through the windscreen and doing some real damage to the occupents by kicking the crap out of them.
AnswerID: 179867

Reply By: Member - Andrew W (SA) - Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 13:57

Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 13:57
I have been told ...

The one thing to remember is that these guys can't move backwards.

They use their tail to propel themselves forward with their legs assisting ...

Stand directly in front of them and block their route of escape and all four legs become disembowelling equipment and the tail provides the strength and power to do that. Just watch two big reds fighting.

I've never had them redirect their energies toward me if I was somewhat distant from them ... mother emus with chicks, though - that is a different story. Ever tried throwing a stick at an emu running at you ... it is very scarey, but funny to see the way their flexible neck can bend and twist at all sorts of strange angles differently from the body.

Ciao for now
Andrew ... if you had tackle as big and as exposed as some of those Old Man Reds you might be wary too ;-)
AnswerID: 179885

Follow Up By: Joombi - Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 18:14

Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 18:14
Andrew, I've had a few pet roo's & they can move backwards in a straight line if they have to
& if an emu is chasing you, hit the deck on your back & kick your legs in the air, like riding a bike upside down, but be prepared to do this for a while until they loose interest & walk away.
if you are on your back, you are no threat to them & the kicking takes their mind off belting you one.
I've seen this done once, only just seen it cause my eyes were filled with tears from laughing, It worked but
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Reply By: PK Eildon (VIC) - Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 14:59

Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 14:59
I think you will find the bottom line is wild kangaroos are okay. They will not come near you. It is the half domesticated or tamed ones that can be a problem. Around camping grounds, etc. where people insist on leaving or feeding food. They are then treated as cute and cuddly, but if they are spooked or you stand directly in their path they feel blocked. I have knowledge of 2 people that have been attacked. Both acknowledge they inadvertently cornered the animal, and secondly both were around camping areas. Neither was hurt seriously, but apparently wrestling one is a fairly exhausting experience.
AnswerID: 179897

Follow Up By: Member - JohnR (Vic)&Moses - Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 15:26

Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 15:26
G'day PK, how is the gas assist going in the car? Nah, not trying to hijack the post.
Cheers,
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John

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Follow Up By: PK Eildon (VIC) - Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 15:45

Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 15:45
No dramas. Have 2 tanks now. 50l all up. Will do a post after next oil change.
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Reply By: oldmagpie2 - Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 17:46

Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 17:46
be careful theres a big roo over here in wa up near marble bar driving a 4x4 of a night with all the spotters on looking for two footed creatures with camper trailers, he shines the lights on you while your around the campfire & while your blinded his mates jump out of the ute & ransack all the food in your tents, all you can see the next morning are roo tracks. if you see one with a patch over his left eye, thats him, a near miss from tangling with me in the moonlight a few years back. ha. cheers
AnswerID: 179918

Follow Up By: Joombi - Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 18:20

Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 18:20
Ah yes, the "Marble bar mauler" I've had dealings with him, stole my wallaby jack, smashed my shoo roo's & my dog will never be the same, if he gets out of therapy
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Reply By: Member - John L G - Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 18:34

Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 18:34
I think we should tell ACA & Harold Scruby that the Roo's are out of control and attacking his pedestrian friends...........

Might get him off our backs for a while???????????
AnswerID: 179924

Follow Up By: chump_boy - Friday, Jun 23, 2006 at 11:14

Friday, Jun 23, 2006 at 11:14
I haven't actually heard from Screwball for a while - mabey he got a hobby.....
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Reply By: Muzzgit (WA) - Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 20:16

Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 20:16
I have heard of male skippies going a bit berserk when female skippies are around and ready to mate.

Also, over the years in WA, several women have been attacked. Completely unprovoked, and in a few cases the kangaroos were family pets. One common denominator which was revealed by accident is that most of the women were at "that" part of the monthly cycle.
AnswerID: 179946

Follow Up By: cuffs - Friday, Jun 23, 2006 at 11:28

Friday, Jun 23, 2006 at 11:28
Bikes or Motor cycles????????????
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Reply By: atoyot - Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 20:44

Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 20:44
I good read on roos is "Country" by Tim Flannery. As all his books are, very readable, full of interesting facts about roos and lots of other interesting things as well. They are amazing animals. The way I see it too is that no roos are the problem; they are just made to survive; it is usually the humans that cause the problems ;^)

Andrew
AnswerID: 179949

Reply By: Member - Davoe (Nullagine) - Friday, Jun 23, 2006 at 13:27

Friday, Jun 23, 2006 at 13:27
definitly no myth a few months ago in Coolgardie a roo terrorised the town trying to get into the servo and then hunting down a pedestrian who jumped a low fence to get away and then had to punch on with it over the fence. Cop was called and he had to use a plastic chair as a riot sheild as the berko roo attacked him
AnswerID: 180066

Follow Up By: Gramps (NSW) - Friday, Jun 23, 2006 at 13:46

Friday, Jun 23, 2006 at 13:46
Good to see you're back Davoe. I was going to post a "Where's Davoe" query. Trust you've settled in to the 'big smoke' by now.
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Reply By: TUFF IFS LUX - Sunday, Jun 25, 2006 at 22:30

Sunday, Jun 25, 2006 at 22:30
G'day all,

I dont understand why, with all the examples provided above of kangaroos attacking people, no one has bothered to get their rifle and remove the menace?

Each time Ive been camping and have come across a roo, or a roo comes too close to my campsite, smelling the food and wanting a feed I calmly stroll to my vehicle, remove my Remington, slowly load it and lock the bolt, put it to my shoulder and aim at him and pull the trigger and take that threat out of the equation.

Simple......

AnswerID: 180321

Follow Up By: Member - Bware (Tweed Valley) - Sunday, Jun 25, 2006 at 22:51

Sunday, Jun 25, 2006 at 22:51
Mr Lux, them there's fightin' words talkin' 'bout our national emblem like that! LOL. I must say I enjoyed a rich pepper sauce over some 'roo loin fillets with a few glasses of red just the other day....
Don't know why they didn't farm kangaroo in the first place instead of introducing cattle which demand all that land clearing and cause erosion.
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