An Australian woman says she was "stalked" for two days by an angry kangaroo, which finally attacked, leaving her with a 12-inch scar.
"It was lucky it was cool weather and I had two layers of clothing; otherwise it could have been worse," Kirrily McWilliams said.
The (Sydney) Daily Telegraph reports that McWilliams called the National Parks and Wildlife Services (NPWS) to report that the female eastern gray kangaroo was lurking outside her home, in Port Macquarie in New South Wales. But wildlife officials reportedly told her to simply ignore the kangaroo and that it would move on.
Instead, the kangaroo attacked her 143-pound mastiff dog the next day.
And the day after that, the kangaroo assaulted McWilliams as she was headed out to her car, on the way to pick up her daughter from school. When McWilliams saw the kangaroo approaching to attack, she curled into a ball on the ground.
"If you stand and confront them, they can easily tear you apart because that's what they do to each other," she told the paper.
But that wasn't the end of the animal's rampage. While McWilliams sat in the hospital recovering from her injuries, the kangaroo attempted to attack her husband. However, he was able to get grab a shovel, which he used to keep the animal at a safe distance.
The NPWS finally issued a 48-hour permit to kill the kangaroo, but it has since disappeared.
"I'm for protecting kangaroos, but there seems to be nothing in place to help people," McWilliams said. "I had to be injured before they did anything. I have three children, and it could have been one of them."
The eastern gray kangaroo is a formidable beast and larger than most other species of kangaroo. It can run at speeds up to 35 mph, covering more than 25 feet in a single jump and reaching heights of up to 8 feet. National Geographic reports that man-made water sources in Australia have become a boon to their population, leading to increased packs of the roos, which are perhaps appropriately referred to as "mobs."
Here's a report from Australian news magazine "Today Tonight" on the growing threat of kangaroo attacks, during which NPWS' Andrew Luck luck recommends that people build fences around their properties as protection, or simply avoid contact with the kangaroos, which he says is a more effective approach then trying to kill the animals. And according to Luck, it sounds as if McWilliams actually took the most sensible form of defense. "If there's nowhere to run to, roll to the ground and that's the best bet," Luck says.
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