Scary moment as an enraged roo pins down bushwalker and claws her leg to the bone in vicious attack – as she issues urgent warning to all Aussies after surgery
- A woman was attacked by a kangaroo
- She tried to save her Joey
An angry kangaroo viciously attacked a bushwalker in an attempt to save the creature’s joey trapped in a barbed wire fence.
Melanie Stubbs was hiking in Sydney’s Blue Mountains when she came across a baby kangaroo in need and decided to help.
Ms. Stubbs said her “maternal instinct” kicked in when she saw the helpless creature and began to try to free the animal’s legs from the wire.
Footage from the incident shows the joey’s mother running around on the other side of the fence, growling.
“We’re trying to help the baby,” Mrs. Stubbs and a friend are heard saying, trying to calm the worried animal down.
Melanie Stubbs (left) was hiking in Sydney’s Blue Mountains when she came across a baby kangaroo in need and decided to help
But the joey’s mother saw the walkers as a threat and attacked the pair, yelling for it to “go away.”
The mother roo then slid under the gate and pinned Mrs. Stubbs to the ground as she screamed in terror.
Ms Stubbs said the ordeal was ‘frightening’.
“I remember lying on my stomach trying to crawl away and I felt the pounding on my back,” she told 9News.
“I had a backpack on, so I think that saved my back a bit.”
The roo had cut her leg open to the bone and she needed surgery.
Ms. Stubbs then developed an infection that saw her go to hospital for treatment every day for nearly 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 that despite growing up in Australia, she didn’t know kangaroos were capable of such viscous attacks on humans.
The kangaroo cut Mrs. Stubbs’ leg to the bone and she required surgery
Seeing the walkers as a threat, the joey’s mother charged at Mrs. Stubbs, pinning her to the ground.
“I thought if she jumped the fence I had no idea she was coming down,” she said.
Ms Stubbs said she still loves kangaroos but would be wary of approaching one in the future.
Last December, a resting kangaroo attacked a tourist after she tried to pet the animal while visiting Kangaroo Valley, about 100 miles southwest of Sydney.
Last September, 77-year-old Western Australian man Peter Eades was killed by his pet kangaroo.
Emergency services were forced to shoot the three-year-old male after it prevented paramedics from reaching the owner, who was critically injured.
The NSW Office of Environment & Heritage warns that while kangaroos are often portrayed as friendly and cuddly Australian cultural icons, they can hurt people.
The department instructs anyone who feels threatened by a roo to move freely and try not to attract the animal’s attention, keeping their heads and arms low.
If someone is attacked, a person should fall to the ground and curl up into a ball with the hands protecting the face and throat. It is important to try to remain calm and quiet until the animal leaves.
WHY KANGAROOS ATTACK
Kangaroos are usually docile creatures and interactions with humans are infrequent.
They can be unpredictable when they feel they are being threatened, or their territory is being encroached on – by a human or another animal.
Fewer than five people seek treatment for kangaroo attacks in NSW each year.
The most common reasons for a kangaroo to attack a human are:
- They see the person as a threat or a sparring opponent. They will often try to protect their group or offspring.
- The kangaroo has lost its instinctive fear of humans – usually as a result of humans feeding or handling it from a young age.
- The kangaroo is in unfamiliar territory or has recently moved its habitat. Natural disasters such as drought and fires can force a kangaroo out of its home and closer to roads and hiking trails to forage for food and water, posing a threat.
When a kangaroo attacks a person, it will generally do so in the same way as fighting another kangaroo, using its paws to push or “grab” the opponent to the ground.
How to avoid threatening a kangaroo:
• Do not approach the kangaroo directly.
• Don’t stand up, stare, or stretch your arms out at a kangaroo.
• Do not go near male kangaroos who are sparring, fighting, or displaying their size and strength to each other.
• Do not move between a female and her joey.
• Do not let your dog near a kangaroo. Kangaroos defend themselves strongly against dogs and this can put you in a dangerous situation.