An elderly man was left with fatal injuries on Sunday in the first lethal Australian kangaroo attack in more than 85 years.
The man, who was 77 years old, was attacked by a wild kangaroo he was keeping as a pet in the Western Australian town of Redmond, about 20 kilometres north-west of Albany, in the state’s south.
The man was found in serious condition by a family member, according to reports, who called emergency services down to the property late on Sunday.
When St John WA paramedics eventually arrived, the kangaroo continued to pose an “ongoing threat”, leaving them unable to tend to the man’s injuries.
As a result, police were called to the property, where they eventually shot the kangaroo dead. By then, it was too late to save the man.
“The kangaroo was posing an ongoing threat to emergency responders and the attending officers were required to euthanize the kangaroo by firearm,” a police spokesperson said.
“At the property there was a kangaroo that was preventing the ambulance crew from accessing the injured man,” the spokesperson said.
“The kangaroo is believed to be a wild kangaroo that was being kept by the injured man as a pet.”
While rare, kangaroo attacks can be lethal. The Albany region is home to the western grey kangaroo, which can grow to 223 centimetres in height, and about 70 kilograms in weight.
Australian Reptile Park life science manager, Hayley Shute, told NCA NewsWire on Tuesday that she wasn’t surprised that a male kangaroo could kill a man.
“The icon, that picture of an Australian kangaroo, is usually a female kangaroo with a joey sticking his head out of the pouch and they look so cute and sweet.
“I don't have the details of this specific case so I wouldn’t like to speculate, but it’s definitely not surprising that a male kangaroo could cause injuries such as this because they are so strong,” she said.
“I’ve seen it…male kangaroos taking each other on and fighting. Their nickname is the boxing kangaroo and that’s because they do kick. Their claws are really big, and they’re muscly.
“Their bodies are built for this…they’re built for boxing and they’re built for battle in some cases.”
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