Point Vernon man fears for kids after fighting off kangaroo
FOR MORE than a decade Point Vernon's Barry Hale has enjoyed the sight of kangaroos in his street.
He was never afraid of the animals - up until this week.
On Sunday about 5.50am, Mr Hale was walking to the shops to get the paper.
He had just reached the corner of Sealink Dr and Aqualine Dr when a kangaroo attacked him.
"This thing went berserk," Mr Hale said.
The roo tried to grab hold of him, but Mr Hale knew if that happened he was in serious trouble.
He started punching the roo, which was about the same size as him, in the head - a defence mechanism that would leave his knuckles bruised and bloodied.
Fortunately people in a neighbouring home saw the attack and started yelling, attracting the roo's attention away from Mr Hale.
"It was aggressive," Mr Hale said.
"It tried to get through their door."
While relieved he is now safe, Mr Hale said the reason he was sharing his story was to try to protect other people in his area.
There are children and elderly people who live nearby and he is worried an encounter with the kangaroo could leave someone smaller or less fit than he is with serious injuries.
He said if a child or an elderly person had been the victim of the roo, it would have killed them.
"It would have killed me, no doubt about it," Mr Hale said.
"I was in shock."
He said he was relieved he was the only one out walking that morning.
"I've never worried about them before, never had any hassles," Mr Hale said.
He wants people to be aware that kangaroos are wild animals and can be dangerous.
Natalie Richardson from Wildlife Rescue Fraser Coast said while one's natural instinct was to fight back, getting down on the ground in the foetal position was the better option when a roo attacked.
"Try to be as non-threatening as possible," she said.
Ms Richardson said retaliating would made a roo react even more aggressively.
She said another option was getting behind a barrier, such as a tree.
Ms Richardson said as the kangaroos' habitat grew smaller and smaller, there could be an increase in encounters between people and the animals.
To contact Wildlife Rescue Fraser Coast, call 4121 3146.