Scary moment raging roo pins bushwalker and claws her leg to the bone in vicious attack – as she issues urgent warning to all Australians after surgery
- A woman was attacked by a kangaroo
- She was trying to save her baby
An angry kangaroo viciously attacked a bushwalker trying to save the creature’s joey who got caught in a barbed wire fence.
Melanie Stubbs was hiking in Sydney’s Blue Mountains when she came across a baby kangaroo in distress and decided to try to help.
Ms Stubbs said her ‘motherly instinct’ kicked in when she spotted the helpless creature and set about trying to free the animal’s legs from the wire.
Footage of the incident shows Joey’s mother frantically leaping across the fence, growling.
“We’re trying to help the baby,” Ms Stubbs and a friend can be heard saying in an attempt to calm the worried animal.
Melanie Stubbs (left) was hiking in Sydney’s Blue Mountains when she came across a baby kangaroo in distress and decided to try to help
But Joey’s mum saw the hikers as a threat and charged at the couple as they yelled for him to ‘go away’.
The mother roo then slipped under the fence and pinned Mrs Stubbs to the ground as she screamed in terror.
Ms Stubbs said the ordeal was “scary”.
“I remember being on my stomach trying to crawl and I could feel him beating me in the back,” she told 9News.
“I had a backpack, so I think that saved my back a bit.”
The roo had slashed her leg to the bone and she had to be operated on.
Ms Stubbs then developed an infection which caused her to return to hospital for treatment every day for almost three months.
She said she felt “lucky” to have survived the incident and wanted to warn others of the potential dangers of kangaroo attacks.
She said that despite being raised in Australia, she had no idea kangaroos were capable of such slimy attacks on humans.
The kangaroo cut Ms Stubbs’ leg to the bone and she had to have surgery
Joey’s mum saw the hikers as a threat and charged at Ms Stubbs, pinning her to the ground
“I thought if she jumped over the fence, I didn’t know she would fall on me,” she said.
Ms Stubbs said she still ‘loved’ kangaroos but would be wary of approaching one in the future.
In December last year, a resting kangaroo attacked a tourist after she tried to pet the animal during a visit to Kangaroo Valley, around 160km south-west of Sydney.
Last September Peter Eades, a 77-year-old Australian, was killed by his pet kangaroo.
Rescuers were forced to shoot the three-year-old boy after they prevented paramedics from reaching the owner, who was seriously injured.
The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage warns that although kangaroos are often portrayed as friendly and cuddly Australian cultural icons, they can hurt people.
The department asks anyone who feels threatened by a roo to move well away and try not to attract the animal’s attention, keeping their head and arms low.
When attacked, a person should drop to the ground and curl into a ball, with their hands protecting their face and throat. It is important to try to stay calm and still until the animal moves away.
WHY KANGAROOS ATTACK
Kangaroos are mostly docile creatures and interactions with humans are infrequent.
They can be unpredictable when they feel threatened or their territory is being encroached upon – whether by a human or another animal.
Fewer than five people seek treatment each year for kangaroo attacks in New South Wales.
The most common reasons why a kangaroo attacks 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 because humans have fed or handled it from an early age.
- The kangaroo is in unfamiliar terrain or has recently changed its habitat. Natural disasters like drought and fires can force a kangaroo to leave its home and move closer to roads and footpaths to look for food and water, posing a threat.
When a kangaroo attacks a person, it generally does so in the same way as when fighting another kangaroo, using its paws to push or “grab” the opponent to the ground.
How to avoid threatening a kangaroo:
• Do not walk directly towards the kangaroo.
• Do not stand straight, stare, or reach for a kangaroo.
• Do not approach male kangaroos that are clashing, fighting or showing off their size and strength.
• Do not move between a female and her calf.
• Don’t let your dog approach a kangaroo. Kangaroos will defend themselves vigorously against dogs, which can lead you into a dangerous situation.