Gang of Kangaroos Attack Residents of a Small Village in Australia

Kangaroos are invading human space at a local park in Maaroom, Australia.

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Kangaroos are invading human space at a local park in Maaroom, Australia.

Lucy Lu, Photojournalist

A small town on Queensland’s Fraser Coast in Australia called Maaroom recently suffered from several severe attacks from their kangaroo population. Maaroom is a small village with only about 220 inhabitants, and they share their living space with wild kangaroos. However, in the past few months, the animal population has rapidly increased and threatened the residents’ quality of life.

Recently, the residents of Maaroom have noticed that the number of kangaroos has multiplied. Many reported seeing more than a dozen at a time on their lawns. In the past, kangaroos have been known not to be a threat to humans as attacks rarely happen. In fact, the last death caused by an attack was back in 1936. In addition to multiplying, the kangaroos in the village also seem to have become more aggressive, causing more attacks than ever. The animals have also been hopping around public parks and living spaces, which resulted in a rise in fear amongst the residents. Due to the overpopulation problem, people are going about their daily lives carrying around a stick for self-protection.

People should avoid unnecessary interactions with wild animals for the benefit of both sides.”

— Dana Joo (9)

A 67-year-old woman living in the village was one of the unlucky locals that were attacked. While taking a walk, a kangaroo unexpectedly appeared and started kicking her. She was left hospitalized, with a broken femur, scratches, and bites (dailymail.uk). In addition, more than 7 attacks have been reported in the last year.

So what is the main cause of this if kangaroos are known to be gentle creatures? Well, experts from the Department of Environment and Science believe that people feeding the kangaroos is the cause. DES manager for southern wildlife operations Frank Mills has said that feeding the kangaroos “can have a negative effect and actually encourage them to get closer to humans” (ABC News Australia). The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has also suggested people not feed wild animals, as they have specialized diets. Excessive feeding can lead them to gather all in one place, and animals accustomed to people often lose their fear of people and can become aggressive. Dana Joo (9) comments on the importance of “avoid[ing] unnecessary interactions with wild animals for the benefit of both sides.”

Though the Department of Environment and Science states that there are no plans to remove the kangaroos from the area, they have given suggested solutions. They recommend locals trim their lawns and keep them short, as the grass is a food source for kangaroos. To coexist in peace, they have also told residents of Maaroom to not attack the population with pepper spray and gel blasters, as it doesn’t discourage the animals from being less aggressive.

Feeding wild animals causes safety hazards for humans. This is why scientists recommended people don’t feed kangaroos as it messes with their population dynamics and increases the likelihood of potential conflict.