Killer kangaroos?

I was once told by an Australian that every year in his country several peopled are killed by (the larger) kangaroos. Aparently this is caused when the unwary get too close and the kangaroo thrashes out with it’s powerful hind legs/claws.
Urban legend, or does this actually happen?

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica

How often they kill humans, I can’t say.

There was also an Extinct Carnivorous Kangaroo.

During a year travelling in Australia, I took a minibus tour of the Northern Territory. The driver was mauled by a red kangaroo just short of Darwin; he’d been sitting on a fence (the kangaroo was penned in with a buffalo, and it sneaked up on him and tried to drag him down into the pen. He was shaken and had quite badly cut legs but was okay in the end.

I’ve been here for 25 years and can’t recall it being reported. But could the big Reds do it? Sure.

Most of the kangaroos you see on film are Eastern Greys - about 4-5 foot high at most. Also, people confuse the similar but much smaller wallaby for kangaroos. A fully grown Red Kangaroo on the other hand is huge - well over six feet.

When they fight amongst themselves, they rock back and balance on the tail (which is about as thick as my thigh) and kick with their hind legs. Remember that these hind legs can propell a 15 stone animal over a car - serious muscle.

Bear in mind that with boxing gloves on the front paws, a kangaroo was more than a match for most people in the ring (these matches no longer happen).


Hey, picmr, even here in Britain we’ve seen the out-takes of Marty the Monster being mauled by that kangaroo!

Thanks for reminding me, mattk. For the rest of you Marty the Monster is a children’s television character of the bloke-in-a-furry-bag type. There is fabulous footage of Marty being grappled with by a kangaroo on live morning television.

Kangaroos can be quite vicious and can in fact do enough damage to kill. The bigger reds especially. I remember a case where a miner was killed when I was a lad growing up in WA, but no others reported since. A cursory search failed to find any recent deaths though a few maulings were evident.

Koalas too can be quite vicious (never pick one up outside of koala sanctuary) and half the platypus population have a venemous spur. And don’t mess with emus either. In addition Australia is home to 9 of the world’s ten deadliest snakes, some of the world’s most damaging spiders, very mean crocodiles and of course the intelligent death machine the Great White Shark. If that’s not enough we’ve also got the very innocuous (and tiny and very cute) blue ringed octopus which, despite being only an inch or so accross) can kill in seven seconds.

And don’t even start me on Drop Bears…

Everybody down!

Yes, I was one of those fucking idiots.
“How big are they?”

I swear to God. I hope I get to lead a group of unsuspecting Australians one day. I’m a be all like ‘drop bear’ and then bring out a grizzly.

Seriously, I loved Australia. I spent a month down there last summer, a week of which was in a swag. Save for a few I glimpsed in national parks, the kangas and wallabees and emus that I saw were tame enough to touch. I did have an interesting experience white water rafting on the Johnston(?) river. We were in the water fixing the prop (there was a looong stretch of flat river) and one of the mean crocodiles swam past us.

Can somebody tell me about a group of 200+ (?) who had to be airlifted off of Uluru? (I didn’t climb. But I did get suckered into buying a really expensive didjeridoo.)