Police were forced to shoot a kangaroo after it killed a beloved alpaca farmer in West Australia’s south over the weekend.
Peter Eades, 77, died on Sunday after he was attacked by the angry marsupial at his Redmond property near Albany.
Authorities believe the three-year-old kangaroo was a wild animal that Mr Eades had been keeping as a pet.
It was Australia’s first fatal kangaroo attack in more than 85 years.
Mr Eades was found by a family member with serious injuries about 5pm after he was attacked sometime earlier in the day.
Paramedics were called, but they were unable to get to Mr Eade due to the violent kangaroo.
“At the property there was a kangaroo that was preventing the ambulance crew from accessing the injured man,” a WA Police spokesperson said.
“Police attended the scene. The kangaroo was posing an ongoing threat to emergency responders and the attending officers were required to euthanize the kangaroo by firearm.”
But the paramedics could not save Mr Eade and he died at the scene from his injuries.
A report will be prepared for the Coroner.
Mr Eades’s love for animals as an alpaca breeder in Albany was well-known.
He ran the Agonis Alpaca stud, which he opened back in 1997, and even had an alpaca cemetery on his property.
Australian Reptile Park life science manager Hayley Shute said in light of the incident, it was important to show respect around wild animals and remember how dangerous male kangaroos could be.
“The public sort of see kangaroos and koalas as fluffy, cuddly animals. I think it’s just important to note that they are wild animals and there’s a level of respect you have to give them,” she told NCA NewsWire.
“The icon, that picture of an Australian kangaroo, is usually a female kangaroo with a joey sticking his head out of the pouch and they look so cute and sweet.
“But male kangaroos, part of their life and hierarchy within the mob is to take on the male that‘s bigger than it. There’s a struggle there to become the alpha male and that’s part of a male kangaroo’s life and behaviour.
“At any point, these males are going to take on a threat to it and it’s a behavioural instinct for them.”
Ms Shute said she was not surprised that a male kangaroo could kill a man given their nature, size and strength.
“I don‘t have the details of this specific case so I wouldn’t like to speculate, but it’s definitely not surprising that a male kangaroo could cause injuries such as this because they are so strong,” she said.
“I’ve seen it … male kangaroos taking each other on and fighting. Their nickname is the boxing kangaroo and that’s because they do kick. Their claws are really big, and they’re muscly.
“Their bodies are built for this … they’re built for boxing and they’re built for battle in some cases.”
Western Australia’s Albany region is home to western grey kangaroos. Males can weigh 70kg and be 223cm tall from head to tail.
Mr Eades’s death was Australia’s first reported fatal kangaroo attack since 1936.
William Cruickshank, 38, died in Hillston Hospital, NSW after his jaw was broken and he suffered extensive head injuries while trying to rescue his two dogs.
Originally published as Police required to shoot angry kangaroo after fatal attack