Starving kangaroos attack city residents

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The Independent Online

The city authorities in Canberra warned residents yesterday to beware of starving kangaroos bounding through the Australian capital in search of food, following reports that the animals were attacking people and pet dogs.

The city authorities in Canberra warned residents yesterday to beware of starving kangaroos bounding through the Australian capital in search of food, following reports that the animals were attacking people and pet dogs.

Wildlife authorities said the usually harmless, grass-eating eastern gray kangaroos were being driven by hunger from the drought-stricken countryside around Canberra, into the city of 320,000, where conditions are greener.

The Australian Capital Territory Environment Department warned residents to steer clear of the animals after a woman was attacked by a kangaroo while walking her poodle in a city park last week and another woman reported that a kangaroo drowned her golden retriever in a pond and seriously injured another two dogs.

The dogs had been swimming when a large kangaroo appeared on the bank and entered the water, according to the pets' owner Christine Canham. The kangaroo then "held her under the water with its back legs and drowned her as we watched helpless," Ms Canham wrote in a letter to The Canberra Times.

A government wildlife ecologist, Murray Evans, said he was concerned that city residents might forget that the beloved symbol of Australia was also a wild animal that can grow as tall and heavy as a man.

"Kangaroos don't come bounding out of the bush looking for people to attack, but they are less likely to back down when hungry," he said.

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