WHEN a large male kangaroo savagely attacked Robert Franklin in his own backyard in Torbanlea, near Hervey Bay, he thought for sure he would be killed.
The six-foot tall beast (pictured below) clawed at Mr Franklin's face, chest and legs, before knocking him flat on his back.
But even that was not enough to stop the rogue marsupial, which continued to gouge at the Torbanlea man's flesh as he lay helpless on the ground.
"It clawed me and I backed off, then it clawed me again," he said.
Mr Franklin, who is aged in his 70s, managed to escape only after his wife, Rosena, distracted the roo and it pursued her instead.
She had heard her husband's cries for help and went to assist him, armed with a mop.
"I came out and here he is screaming 'Help, help!'" Mrs Franklin said.
"The roo was about to jump on him.
"I rushed down with the mop to try and distract him.
"If I hadn't been there, he would have been killed.''
She managed to escape the animal by running into thick bougainvillea bushes.
Her husband, on the other hand, was left with multiple injuries, including a split lip that needed four stitches.
He suffered cuts and scratches to his neck, chest, arms and legs, plus a deep gash on his head just centimetres away from his left eye.
"There's a lot of children around here - what if it had been a child?" Mr Franklin can't help but wonder.
For almost a decade, the Franklins have had kangaroos living and breeding on their rural property at Melinda Rd.
They have often had to shoo the marsupials away from their back veranda, but the relationship has otherwise been peaceful.
On Saturday afternoon, however, everything changed.
Mr Franklin was attempting to shoo away two males that were fighting at his back porch, when he was set upon by one.
"I had to do something otherwise he would have ripped him to pieces," his brave wife explained.
"This has been a very traumatic experience for us.
"How he hasn't lost an eye, I don't know."
The Franklins' next-door neighbours Fred and Vicki McDonald said the kangaroo that attacked was among a group of four males that had also been fighting in their yard in recent days.
"You watch them fighting, standing on their tails and they just lay into each other," Mrs McDonald said.
"There's an awful lot of children in this estate, which is a bit scary."
Mrs McDonald ran over to assist the Franklins after the attack, which occurred about 3.30pm on Saturday.
She found Mr Franklin lying in a pool of blood.
"He was flat on his back on the concrete and there was just blood everywhere," she said.
"His wife was hysterical."
An ambulance took Mr Franklin to hospital and he was released a few hours later.
He was yesterday recovering at home after a visit to the chiropractor, as the touch-up from the roo had also inflamed a previous back injury.
The Franklins are now urging other people, particularly children, to be wary of kangaroos during mating season.
They advise anyone who gets confronted to simply "back off".
"I'll be a hell of a lot more cautious now," Mr Franklin said.
EHP rangers will visit the couple to investigate.