Kangaroo kills man in rare fatal attack; Animal shot dead by Australian police

A man who may have kept a wild kangaroo as a pet has been killed by the animal in southwestern Australia, police said Tuesday. It was reportedly the first fatal attack by a kangaroo in Australia since 1936.

A relative found the 77-year-old man with “serious injuries” on his property on Sunday in rural Redmond, 250 miles southeast of Perth, the capital of Western Australia state.

He was believed to have been attacked earlier that day by the kangaroo, which was shot dead by police because it was preventing paramedics from reaching the injured man, police said.

“The kangaroo posed a continuing threat to emergency services,” the statement said.

The man died on the spot. Police are preparing a report for a medical examiner who will record an official cause of death.

the man was identified by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation as Peter Eades, a local alpaca farmer. Police believe he had kept the wild kangaroo as a pet.

There are legal restrictions on keeping native Australian wildlife as pets, but the police press office said on Tuesday they had no information to release 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 get quite aggressive and 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 in captivity and unfortunately … they are not a cute animal, they are a wild animal,” Irwin added.

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Irwin said his rescue center always rehabilitates native animals with the goal of returning them to the wild, particularly kangaroos.

“You need a special permit to be able to do that. I don’t think they really give it very often, unless it’s a wildlife center with trained people who know what they’re doing,” he said.

Western gray kangaroos are common in southwestern Australia. They can weigh up to 120 pounds and stand over 4 feet tall. According to the perth zoothey are herbivorous and eat coarse grasses and some shrubs.

Males can be aggressive and fight with people using the same techniques they use with each other. They use their short upper limbs to grab their opponent, use their muscular tails to support their body weight, and then attack with their powerful clawed hind legs.

According to the Queensland Department of Environment and Science“Many people see large male kangaroos as placid grazing animals,” but “the reality is that they can be aggressive toward people.”

In July, a 67-year-old woman was left with cuts and a broken leg by a kangaroo after it attacked her on a walk in Queensland, the the bbc reported. A three-year-old girl suffered serious head injuries in an attack in New South Wales in March.

In 2017, a kangaroo attacks 9-year-old girl at a zoo in Alabama.

In 1936, 38-year-old William Cruickshank died in a hospital in Hillston, in the state of New South Wales, on Australia’s east coast, months after being attacked by a kangaroo.

Cruickshank suffered extensive head injuries, including a broken jaw, while trying to rescue his two dogs from a large kangaroo, The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper reported at the time.

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