Cops: Kangaroo Kills Man in 86-Year First

Alpaca breeder Peter Eades had already dug his own grave
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 13, 2022 10:00 AM CDT
Cops: Kangaroo Kills Man in 86-Year First
A gray kangaroo is seen in the Wombeyan Karst Conservation Reserve near Taralga, Australia, on Aug. 18, 2016.   (AP Photo/Rob Griffith, File)

An animal lover in Australia has died following an attack by his pet kangaroo in what the BBC reports is the first fatal kangaroo attack reported in the country in 86 years. A relative found 77-year-old alpaca breeder Peter Eades with serious injuries on his property in Western Australia on Sunday afternoon, per ABC Australia. The 3-year-old wild kangaroo, which community members said Eades had raised from a joey and kept as a pet, prevented police and paramedics from reaching him and was subsequently shot and killed. The man was later pronounced dead at the scene. It's unknown whether Eades had a permit to keep the kangaroo, per the New York Times.

A veterinary nurse at Western Australia's Native Animal Rescue tells the outlet that such permits are rarely given, as the animals "don't cope well in human situations." "They don't distinguish between people and other kangaroos," Graeme Coulson, a kangaroo behavior expert at the University of Melbourne, tells the ABC. "We're both upright animals, we stand on our two feet, and an upright stance like that is a challenge to the male kangaroo." Wildlife carer Michelle Jones tells the outlet that she's also raised joeys. But between "18 months to 3 years of age, these beautiful sweet lovable [animals]" transform. "They want to spar, they want to box, and right now it's kangaroo breeding season."

Though kangaroos are known to cause injuries—a 3-year-old girl was hospitalized following an attack in New South Wales in March—fatal attacks are extremely rare, with the last reported in 1936. In that case, a 38-year-old man died months after suffering extensive head injuries, including a broken jaw, while trying to rescue his dogs from a kangaroo in New South Wales, per the Times. Now, "urban development across Australia is increasingly encroaching on wild kangaroo habitats," the BBC reports. Eades named each of his animals and built a cemetery to hold them once they died. In 2017, he told the ABC that he wanted to be buried in the same place and had already dug his own grave next to his favorite alpaca, Claudia, who died in 2002. (More kangaroo attack stories.)

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