Frightening moment raging roo pins down bushwalker and claws her leg to the bone in a vicious attack – as she issues an urgent warning for all Aussies following surgery
- A woman was attacked by a kangaroo
- She was trying to rescue her joey
An angry kangaroo has viciously attacked a bushwalker trying to save the creature’s joey that was caught in a barbed wire fence.
Melanie Stubbs was hiking in Sydney’s Blue Mountains when she came across a baby kangaroo in distress and decided to try and help.
Ms Stubbs said her ‘motherly instinct’ kicked in when she spotted the helpless creature and set about trying to free the animal’s legs from the wire.
Footage of the incident shows the joey’s mother frantically bounding around on the other side of the fence growling.
‘We’re trying to help the baby,’ Ms Stubbs and a friend can be heard saying in an attempt to calm the worried animal.
Melanie Stubbs (left) was hiking in Sydney’s Blue Mountains when she came across a baby kangaroo in distress and decided to try and help
But the joey’s mother saw the hikers as a threat and charged at the pair as they yelled for it to ‘go away’.
The mother roo then slipped under the fence and pinned Ms Stubbs to the ground as she screamed in terror.
Ms Stubbs said the ordeal was ‘frightening’.
‘I remember being on my tummy trying to crawl away and I could feel it pounding on my back,’ she told 9News.
‘I had a backpack on so I think that saved my back a little.’
The roo had slashed her leg down to the bone and she required surgery.
Ms Stubbs then developed an infection which saw her going back to hospital for treatment everyday for almost three months.
She said she feels ‘lucky’ to have survived the incident and wants to warn others about the potential dangers of kangaroo attacks.
She said despite being raised in Australia, she was unaware kangaroos were capable of such viscous attacks on humans.
The kangaroo slashed Ms Stubbs’s leg down to the bone and she required surgery
The joey’s mother saw the hikers as a threat and charged at Ms Stubbs, pinning her to the ground
‘I thought if anything she’d jump over the fence, I had no idea she’d come under at me,’ she said.
Ms Stubbs said she still ‘liked’ kangaroos but would be wary about approaching one in the future.
In December last year, a resting kangaroo attacked a tourist after she tried to pat the animal while visiting Kangaroo Valley, about 160km southwest of Sydney.
Last September, 77-year-old Western Australia man Peter Eades was killed by his pet kangaroo.
Emergency responders were forced to shoot the three-year-old male roo after it prevented paramedics from reaching the owner, who was seriously injured.
The NSW Office of Environment & Heritage warns that although kangaroos are often portrayed as friendly and cuddly Australian cultural icons, they can hurt people.
The department instructs any person who feels threatened by a roo to move well clear and try not to attract the animal’s attention, keeping their head and arms low.
If attacked, a person should drop to the ground and curl into a ball with their hands protecting their face and throat. It is important to try to remain calm and still until the animal moves away.
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.