Rob Griffith / AP
Perth, Australia – A man who kept a wild kangaroo as a pet has been killed by an animal in southwest Australia. The police gave this information on Tuesday. It was reportedly the first fatal attack by a kangaroo in Australia since 1936.
A relative on Sunday found a 77-year-old man with “serious injuries” at his property in semi-rural Redmond, 400 kilometers (250 miles) southeast of Perth, the state capital of Western Australia.
Police said he was believed to have been attacked by a kangaroo earlier in the day, which was gunned down by police as it was preventing paramedics from reaching the injured man.
“The kangaroo was posing a threat to emergency responders,” the statement said.
The man died on the spot. Police are preparing a report for a coroner who will record an official cause of death.
Police believe that the victim had kept a wild kangaroo as a pet.
There are legal restrictions on keeping Australian-origin creatures as pets, but the Police Media Office said on Tuesday they had no information to make public about whether the victim had a permit.
Tanya Irwin, who cares for macropods at the Native Animal Rescue Service in Perth, said authorities rarely issue permits to keep kangaroos in Western Australia.
“It looks like it was an adult male and they become quite aggressive and they don’t do well in captivity,” Irwin said.
“We don’t know what the situation was; if he was in pain or why he was being kept in captivity and unfortunately … they are not a furry animal, they are a wild animal,” Irwin said.
Irwin said his rescue center always rehabilitates native animals with the aim of returning them, especially kangaroos.
“You need a special permit to be able to do this. I don’t believe they really give them very often unless you have a wildlife center with trained people who know what they’re doing ,” He said.
Western gray kangaroos are common in the south-west of Australia. They can weigh up to 54 kg (119 lb) and stand 1.3 m (4 ft 3 in) tall.
Males can be aggressive and fight people with the same techniques as they do with each other. They use their short upper limbs to grapple with their opponent, use their muscular tail to take their body weight, then outrun with both of their powerful clawed hind legs.
In 1936, 38-year-old William Crickshank died months after being attacked by a kangaroo at a hospital in Hilston, New South Wales state, on Australia’s east coast.
Cruickshank suffered extensive head injuries, including a broken jaw, while attempting to rescue his two dogs from a large kangaroo. Sydney Morning Herald The newspaper reported at that time.