Kangaroo death: Australian man killed by kangaroo he ‘kept as pet’ police say

A 77-year-old man who may have been keeping a wild kangaroo as a pet was killed by the animal in south-west Australia, police said.

It was reportedly the first fatal attack by a kangaroo in Australia since 1936.

A relative found the man with “serious injuries” at his property in semi-rural Redmond, 250 miles south east of the Western Australia state capital Perth.

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It was believed he had been attacked earlier in the day by the kangaroo, which police shot dead because it was preventing paramedics from reaching the injured man.

A 77-year-old man who may have been keeping a wild kangaroo as a pet was killed by the animal in south-west Australia, police said.
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“The kangaroo was posing an ongoing threat to emergency responders,” police said.

The man died at the scene. Police are preparing a report for a coroner who will record an official cause of death.

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Police believe the victim had been keeping the wild kangaroo as a pet.

There are legal restrictions on keeping Australian native fauna as pets, but the police media office said they had no information to make public regarding whether the victim had a permit.

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Tanya Irwin, who cares for kangaroos at the Native Animal Rescue service in Perth, said authorities rarely issue permits to keep the animals in Western Australia.

“This looks like it was an adult male and they become quite aggressive and they don’t do well in captivity,” Ms Irwin said.

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“We don’t know what the situation was – if he was in pain or why he was being kept in captivity and unfortunately… they’re not a cute animal, they’re a wild animal,” she added.

Ms Irwin said her rescue centre always rehabilitates native animals with the aim of returning them to the wild, particularly kangaroos.

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“You do need a special permit to be able to do that. I don’t believe they really give them out very often unless you’re a wildlife centre with trained people who know what they’re doing,” she said.

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Western grey kangaroos are common in Australia’s south west. They can weigh up to 119 pounds (54kg and stand 4ft 3in (1.3m) tall.

The males can be aggressive and fight people with the same techniques as they use with each other. They use their short upper limbs to grapple with their opponent, use their muscular tails to take their body weight, then lash out with both their powerful clawed hind legs.

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In 1936, William Cruickshank, 38, died in a hospital in Hillston in New South Wales months after he had been attacked by a kangaroo.

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