A man who kept a wild kangaroo as a pet in southwest Australia was killed by the animal, according to police. It was reportedly the first kangaroo fatality in Australia since 1936.
In semirural Redmond, 250 miles southeast of Perth, a relative discovered the 77-year-old man suffering “serious injuries” on his property.
Earlier in the day, police shot the kangaroo dead because it prevented paramedics from reaching the injured man.
“The kangaroo was posing an ongoing threat to emergency responders,” the statement said.
An official cause of death will be determined by a coroner after a police report has been prepared.
The wild kangaroo was a pet kept by the victim.
Police said Tuesday they had no information on whether the victim had a permit to keep Australian native fauna as pets.
According to Tanya Irwin, who cares for macropods at the Native Animal Rescue service in Perth, Western Australian authorities rarely issue permits to keep kangaroos.
“This looks like it was an adult male and they become quite aggressive and they don’t do well in captivity,” Irwin said.
Irwin added, “We don’t know what the situation was, if he was in pain or why he was being kept in captivity. Unfortunately, they’re not cute animals, they’re wild animals.”
It is the goal of Irwin’s rescue center to rehabilitate native animals, including kangaroos, for release back into the wild.
She said you need a special permit to do that, and they don’t really give them out very often unless you’re a wildlife center with trained staff.
The Western gray kangaroo lives in Australia’s southwest and can weigh 119 pounds and stand 4 feet 3 inches tall.
The males can be aggressive and use the same techniques they use to fight each other. They use their short upper limbs to grapple, their muscles tails to bear their weight, and their powerful clawed hind legs to strike back.
After being attacked by a kangaroo, William Cruickshank, 38, died in a hospital in Hillston in New South Wales state on the Australian east coast.
In trying to rescue his two dogs from a large kangaroo, Cruickshank suffered extensive head injuries including a broken jaw, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.
For more on this story, please consider these sources:
- Kangaroo kills Australian man in rare fatal attack NPR
- ‘They’re wild animals’: Kangaroo kills elderly man Sky News Australia
- Australian man killed by wild kangaroo he was believed to have kept as pet, police say NBC News
- Man killed in Western Australia after being attacked by his ‘pet’ kangaroo | ABC News ABC News (Australia)
- Australian man killed by wild kangaroo that was believed to be his pet New York Post