Australia

Man dies from injuries after suspected kangaroo attack

A 77-year-old man has died from injuries after a suspected kangaroo attack in Western Australia’s south.
Paramedics went to Redmond, near Albany on Sunday evening after the man was found by a relative with serious injuries.

Police were called to assist after the kangaroo prevented the ambulance crew from accessing the injured man, who died at the scene.

A WA Police spokesman said officers were forced to shoot the marsupial dead because it was posing an ongoing threat to emergency responders.

The man is believed to have been attacked by the kangaroo earlier in the day.

Grey kangaroos at the Belconnen Naval Transmission Station near Canberra, Australia. Source: AP / Mark Graham

Police believe it was a wild animal that was being kept as a pet.

A police report will be prepared for the coroner.

Are fatal kangaroo attacks frequent?

Associate Professor Graeme Coulson from Melbourne University, who studies kangaroo behaviour, said despite attacks being rare the incident was a reminder these are “wild animals” and people should act with care around them.
“Remember that they are wild animals – they are not pets – remember that they have got sharp teeth and claws,” he said.

“It does happen [attacks] from time to time – [but] fatal incidences are extremely rare.”

He said the practice of keeping a kangaroo as a pet could be potentially dangerous once they start to reach maturity.
“Particularly young male kangaroos. As they grow, they’ll reach sexual maturity,” he said.

“All they want to do is fight with other male kangaroos.

“With a human standing upright, that is the equivalent to a challenge to a young male kangaroo.”
Professor Coulson said people who get into “trouble” with a kangaroo should either run away or “curl up in a ball”.
“The human is just another kangaroo as far as they are concerned,” he said.
The incident is believed to be the first recorded fatal attack from a kangaroo since 1936.

William Cruickshank, 38, died in Hillston Hospital, NSW after his jaw was broken and he suffered extensive head injuries.

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