You are here

Kangaroos are wild native animals. They deserve to be treated with respect.


An article by Associated Press entitled: "Kangaroo tries to drown dog, attacks owner" dated Tuesday, 24 November 2009 (today), naturally drew the author's attention...
"A kangaroo startled by a man walking his dog attacked the pair, pinning the pet underwater and slashing the owner in the abdomen with its hind legs. The Australian, Chris Rickard, was in stable condition Monday after the attack, which ended when the 49-year-old elbowed the kangaroo in the throat.

Rickard said he was walking his blue heeler, Rocky, on Sunday morning when they surprised a sleeping kangaroo in Arthur's Creek northeast of Melbourne. The dog chased the animal into a pond, when the kangaroo turned and pinned the pet underwater.

When Rickard tried to pull his dog free, the kangaroo turned on him, attacking with its hind legs and tearing a deep gash into his abdomen and across his face.

"I thought I might take a hit or two dragging the dog out from under his grip, but I didn't expect him to actually attack me," Rickard, 49, told The Herald Sun newspaper. "It was a shock at the start because it was a kangaroo, about 5 feet high, they don't go around killing people."

Kangaroos rarely attack people but will fight if they feel threatened. Dogs often chase kangaroos, which have been known to lead the pets into water and defend themselves there. Rickard said he ended the attack by elbowing the kangaroo in the throat, adding Rocky was "half-drowned" when he pulled him from the water."© 24-Nov-2009 AP


Comment: This account seems consistent with known kangaroo behaviour of fleeing its natural predator the dingo, that the kangaroo fled into the water. The owner allowed (or perhaps encouraged) his dog to chase the kangaroo into the water. The kangaroo's final self-defence was to use its hind legs against the dog in the water. The dog persisted and then the owner went in after his dog. The kangaroo defended itself against both the dog and against the owner elbowing it in the throat. It is a human trait to plead innocent when involved in conflict even when the aggressor. Perhaps the editor should have adopted a more factual title of "Kangaroo set on by dog and owner, defends itself in water."



...then there's this story from 2003:

Half-Blind Kangaroo Saves Life Of Unconscious Man

by Sherry Morse:

"A farmer who suffered serious head injuries after being struck by a falling tree branch was rescued by a partially blind kangaroo who is being hailed as a hero.

Lulu the kangaroo banged on the door of the family’s home in Morwell, Gippsland in southeast Australia after discovering the farmer lying unconscious in a field. According to Rural Ambulance Victoria paramedic Eddie Wright, the man had been checking his property for damage following a severe storm when he was struck by the branch.

Wright said that if Len Richards’ family had not found him so quickly, he might have died.

"The kangaroo alerted them to where he was and went and sat down next to him, and that’s how they found him," he said. Richards was taken to an Austin hospital. Richards’ daughter Celeste said, "Lulu and Dad are very close and she follows him around, but we all just love her so much."

About ten years ago, the family found Lulu in the pouch of her mother who had been killed by a car. The authorities allowed them to care for Lulu and adopt her because she is missing one eye.

The Australian Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) has urged the family to nominate Lulu for its National Bravery Award. "From my point of view, it’s a darn good story, and I would hope Lulu is nominated," said RSCPA president Dr. Hugh Wirth. © 2003 Animal News Center, Inc.


"Kangaroos are shy and retiring by nature, and in normal circumstances present no threat to humans. Male kangaroos often "box" amongst each other, playfully, for dominance, or in competition for mates. The dexterity of their forepaws is utilised in both punching and grappling with the foe, but the real danger lies in a serious kick with the hindleg. The sharpened toenails can disembowel an opponent.

There are very few records of kangaroos attacking humans without provocation; however, several such unprovoked attacks in 2004 spurred fears of a rabies-like disease possibly affecting the marsupials. The only reliably documented case of a fatality from a kangaroo attack occurred in New South Wales, in 1936. A hunter was killed when he tried to rescue his two dogs from a heated fray. Other suggested causes for erratic and dangerous kangaroo behaviour include extreme thirst and hunger." (Wikipedia)

Kangaroos like dingos are wild native animals and deserved to be treated with respect as wild animals.

AttachmentSize
Image icon Kangaroo.jpg76.09 KB

Comments

The human "victim" was interviewed on the local ABC radio. He said that his dog started harassing the kangaroo who eventually got up and headed for the dam. The dog followed the kangaroo into the dam and the man then got into the picture trying to save his dog. From the point of view of the kangaroo- all he was doing was defending himself from 2 attackers!!

Had the man any brains or had he trained his dog- he would have ordered the dog away from the kangaroo immediately the dog stared interfering with him.

The kangaroo's behaviour sounded quite reasonable and the behaviour of the man - stupid, irresponsible and inflammatory of the situation...even given the fact that the kangaroo was never going to testify anywhere against the man. Long live the kangaroo!

Bevans that sic their dogs on to wildlife are bad enough.

With a dog named 'Rocky' one can guess the breed was not quite a Maltese or Pug. In this case, the likely bull terrier/bull mastiff cross and the Bevan seemed to have got what they deserved. Don't go swimming in the Daly River either, especially dogs!

But worse is the misreporting of the facts by the ABC and the incitement of public antagonism toward kangaroos, as if kangaroos aren't already copping the raw end of the stick from industrial poaching.

One has to question the motive of the ABC editor's wording the title of the article "Kangaroo tries to drown dog, attacks owner".

One has to also question the misleading and sensationalised opening sentence implying from the outset an unprovoked attack by a kangaroo on a man and his pet dog, which in fact is later revealed in the story being entirely the converse. Did the editor seek sensationalism?

The Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance Code of Ethics - recommends journalists "report and interpret honestly, striving for accuracy, fairness and disclosure of all essential facts. Do not suppress relevant available facts, or give distorting emphasis. Do your utmost to give a fair opportunity for reply."

Of course kangaroos can't reply. Perhaps the ABC thought this more entertainment than news?
If anyone challenges a media organisation for breaching the code, complaining to the Judiciary Committee of the MEAA will involve a panel of five journalists hearing the complaint. A case of industry looking after its own.

As for ABC Editorial Policies, clause 11.4.7 states "violent events should never be sensationalised or presented for their own sake. A balance needs to be struck between the inherent strength of the images and proper detachment."

One for Media Watch perhaps?

The man "attacked" by a kangaroo while trying to rescue his dog from a dam at Arthurs Creek, Victoria, sounds like distorted and biased reporting. Dogs are a danger to kangaroos, and the "attack" was more likely to be from the dog! The kangaroo was probably fighting for its life from two predators and tried to escape to the dam. Trying to drown the dog would have been an act of self-defence. Kangaroos are not normally aggressive animals. However, they have the right to defend themselves when startled or threatened, as this one evidently was. The man's wounds were only minor. The "attack" from the kangaroo should be revised as a case of a kangaroo, for once, having the upper hand and not being the submissive "pest" that the media usually report them as being. The dog should have been constrained in wildlife territory. Let's get some balance in these reports.

On ABCTV news last night (Monday 21 December 2009), there was a dreadful report from south west Queenland about a "plague" of kangaroos and how they were a "pest". A farmer claimed to be hamstrung by limited quotas and a collapsing kangaroo-meat industry in his attempts to get rid of an estimated 2,500 kangaroos on his property which had taken refuge there after recent rains.

http://www.abc.net.au/contact/complain.htm

The reporter described this 'problem' as costing the farmer tens of thousands of dollars. Something to the effect that 'if there had been that many locusts(!) on the property the government would step in and do something about the pest problem' was said. It was the worst report I had seen in a long time.

The only saving grace was they said the industry needed to clean up its act and imports had been banned by Russia.

It seemed obvious that the kangaroos had been attracted by new rain on the property as they fled long-term drought. Kangaroo population numbers are actually falling because of shooting combined with drought or climate change, but no mention was made of this far more serious fact. The report used the same tired old, untried and untrue myths about kangaroos being in plague numbers. It is unworthy of the ABC to treat our national icon in this way - to treat any living creature in this way, but particularly a beautiful, noble animal which was here before us and is so much more sustainable than us.

The ABC needs to correct the damaging impression it has created of this gentle creature and do more stories to strengthen respect for nature and particularly for kangaroos.

What has become of this country, where once most people loved and respected nature and our indigenous fauna?

Are we degenerating into a bunch of fat McDonalds hamburger-squaffing vicarious Seinberg shut-ins?

If so, time that Australians turned off their tvs and got out and about in their gardens and the countryside more.

Australia is a big place. Who keeps fencing the boomers in? Let 'em out!
And put the top soil and gums back.

Thanks to outback graziers, once beautiful Queensland has become a parched, shadeless home of the dust storm.

Tiger Quoll
Snowy River 3885
Australia

When Captain Cook arrived in Australia I can't recall in any of the history books, he or anyone else saying, "Gee this is a nice place, however it is overrun by these animals we now call kangaroos" He thought the place so great others followed. 200 years later we now have a plague of kangaroos!! give me break!!! we now have a plague of humans and all the destruction they brought with them.
We have wrecked the place in 200 years and the kangaroos lived in harmony for 16 million years. We are the ones who are out of tune!

Today I ran into a group of Malaysian people admiring brushtail possums in the Catani Gardens, St.KIlda, and taking photos with their faces right up close to them. They were very interested and respectful of our little pouched friends.

I saw a program of Sumatran elephants tonight ...
last night it was Orang Outangs in Kalimantan.

Same story- habitat cleared for timber or mining - nowhere for the animals to go- separations of babies from mothers - a few good Samaritans trying to save the situation- identical stories really. The orang outangs could sign i.e it appeared to me they used language- well symbols- the elephants painted abstract pictures- not that this matters - but how can we have so little sympathy for them?? Or should I ask? How can so few people have any sympathy for them? They are more like us than not like us? It's crazy.

The devastation in Sumatra after the forest had been clear felled was unbelievable. How can we do it? We must be psychopathic as a species. We are a terrible infestation on the planet. We have to go ..it's too terrible. We are obscene!! When I think of the mother elephant and that long gestation - giving birth to a baby only to become separated from her and then the baby ends up dying in an "elephant training camp" for lack of proper nourishment.

I despair! DESPAIR! And then I read that article about those crazy Christians trying to INCREASE human population. And our crazy primeminister.

I DESPAIR!

Quiet Tasmania's picture

There is no doubt about it - craziness reigns upon the face of the earth, and there is increasing despair among the sensitive, caring folk remaining.

I share your concern about the behaviour of man as he goes about destroying the planet and all its creatures and marvels.

What is the explanation for this insane behaviour? Are these "the end times" spoken of in the Bible?

From the Biblos website at http://bible.cc/revelation/11-18.htm I found this passage ..

"The nations were angry; and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great -- and for destroying those who destroy the earth."

The part I like best is the prediction of destruction for those who are destroying the earth, but I'm not sure how to go about giving God a nudge and saying "Please get on with it, Mate!"

Peter Bright
Hobart

www.pebri.net

Dr John Auty 'The Kangaroo BETRAYED!' :

"When a shooter enters the structured society of a mob of kangaroos, he destroys a rich, complex system by killing the alpha male, his immediate rivals, and the older females, who are the educators of the mob. This selective hunting results in females mating with young males and the loss of the inherited strengths of the mob."

According to the late Dr Peter Rawlinson, zoologist at Latrobe University:

When wild populations are under such stress, they breed furiously to preserve their species in a desperate attempt to prevent their demise.

Labelling a native species as a "pest" or "vermin" is purely subjective and occurs when human objectives clash with those of the original inhabitants of the land. Since European settlement, we have altered and damaged the landscape of our country irreparably, and in many cases, beyond recognition.

The loathing of kangaroos is due to their ability to survive human onslaughts, defy the laws of natural selection, and their inherent ability live frugally within ancient ecosystem - what we as a species are failing to do!

With the power, aggression, greed and dominance of the human race, we could easily eradicate all other species in the quest for dominance and economic benefits.

Vivienne,
What do you think of Tim's latest article about the religious growth lobby, which is doing the same thing that kangaroos do to survive, but with less reason. For instance, do you think, that some of their activities are cynically designed to increase economic activity, or do you think they are just pawns of the economic growth lobby?

How would you combat their ad, which strikes me as ridiculous, but which obviously seems logical to some people out there.

Sheila Newman

I believe we are coming to the End Times, the Earth's destruction as we know it.
This world will be done away with and a new heavens and a new earth created (2 Peter 3:7). There will be a great wedding feast celebration of Christ being united with his people (Revelation 21).

However, as Captain Paul Watson has pointed out, humans are just primates out of control! The quest for growth in human numbers, at a time of climate change, natural resource limitations, human numbers explosion globally, is some evolutionary flaw that defies all logic. The few elites, those whose self-interests benefit from continual growth, have the power to sway our political leaders and the media. It is a case of impending shipwreck, just raid the purser's lock-up chest and take what you can!

The problem with religions is one of conflicts of interests. It is their quest to increase numbers and power, and save positions, so they will not limit growth - through immigration or fertility control. The Christian belief is that humans are "made in the Image of God" (Genesis 1:26). However the responsibilities of "ruling over" the animals, the earth and the sea, have largely been ignored. Focus has centred on anthropocentric benefits of personal faith, not on obligations to non-human creatures and protecting the environment!

If humans are such images of God, there cannot be an over-population of them, just like there can't be a limit to too much (potential) goodness, or believers! This is the dilemma!

However, images only reflect! Unless we are transformed by God's goodness, we are not "images of God"!

Another dilemma is the "niceness" of Christian modern teaching - to turn the other cheek, to be tolerant and forgiving, to be fully accepting. The Christian-background countries such as Canada, USA, UK and Australia are the countries facing massive and unsustainable population growth fuelled by immigration. The weapon of "racism" can be perfectly played out, on what is basically a blank and bland canvas of "niceness" and politeness! We are supposed to be lambs to the slaughter and surrender to the needs of the less fortunate, and the decisions of higher powers to accept those invited here due to their education and skills.

Some churches are becoming more active and vocal in environmental and social justice issues, but the elephant in the room, population growth, is taboo!

There are fundamentalists groups who reject Darwin's evolutionary theories, and this means that without species adapting to environmental limitations, growth is disconnected from available natural resources!

Immigration is globalizing the world's human population explosion and adding to the displacement of genuine refugees.

My views are not mainstream, but I hope this makes some sense.