Tame Kangaroo Fatally Injured By A Great Dane Dog

Tame Kangaroo Fatally Injured By A Great Dane Dog

Michele Brown© 585Tame Kangaroo Fatally Injured By A Great Dane Dog

This was not just any Kangaroo, this was one of “my” Kangaroos, who had the lower half of his hind leg torn off by a vicious Great Dane pet dog whose owners knew was vicious, but still illegally let the dog onto the golf course to roam and cause havoc. Waiting for vets to arrive, I watched my Kangaroo drag himself on exposed bones for 2 hours, crippled with agonizing pain.

Michele Brown©

Dragging exposed bones on the ground, for 2 HOURS before help arrived.

I watch over around 80 Kangaroos, a dozen or so Koalas, countless other marsupials, plus prolific bird life, raptors, marine life and reptiles and have done this for 10 years. Living on a private golf course, which is my back yard, I consider these “my” wild animals.

The phone call came in at 9.45am last Tuesday, that one of my Kangaroos was “in a bad way and needed help.”

The First View.

I arrived on the scene within several minutes of the distress phone call and was met by the head Greens Keeper, from the golf course. A second greens keeper looked worried and pointed in the direction of the injured animal. Kangaroos are native Australian marsupials who camouflage and for a moment my eyes had to search to find him. He was down on the ground, propped up on one elbow, as if he was relaxing in the sun. Except he was in the shade of the trees, laying on a hard surface between two fairways, so something was terribly wrong.

His face was semi-relaxed but when I spoke he relaxed his “I’m OK” pose and the pain flashed across his face as his body jerked.

As my eyes traced down his body, I momentarily went weak at the knees to see one of my own dear Kangaroos with such a horrific injury. I let out a few swear words as a reflex then dropped my hands on my knees and had to re-stablise myself to think and act fast.

The greens-keepers told me two people witnessed the attack, from a golf course resident’s dog. For the past two years I have had a running battle with one family who also live on the golf course, who think it’s their right to let their pet dogs run free on the fairways. Absolutely no dogs are allowed on the golf course. It is private property and because it has prolific wildlife, dogs are absolutely not allowed.

The offending dog’s owner has had a series of dogs, which I have collected off the course and taken to the dog pound. The adult Great Dane was their latest dog and this was the first I was hearing about it.

This injured kangaroo stood about 7 foot tall and although he knew me well and wasn’t nervous of me being close to him, he was still a wild animal which had never been handled by humans. Even though he would let me get within a few feet from him, that’s not the same as overpowering him and containing him, consequently I had to get someone with a dart to come to me.

I made a series of frantic phone calls and from the small list of people with dart guns, each of them had genuine reasons why they could not attend on this day. Finally, the RSPCA said they would attend but it would be at least another hour before they could arrive. I was incredibly thankful to hear help would arrive at some point.

Meanwhile, the kangaroo was mobile! I was driving a golf buggy to stay with him so I didn’t lose him. When kangaroos camouflage you cannot see them unless they move. Because of his size I could not contain him other than try to keep him in the trees and off the fairways. We were located between two fairways, with golfers hitting golf balls around us. If he crossed the fairway and got into the longer grass I could lose him for good.

Michele Brown©

My injured kangaroo on the move.

I cannot emphasize how distressing it was to watch my kangaroo drag himself on exposed bones for two hours before the RSPCA arrived. The pain the animal was in was horrific. His body would twitch and jerk and agony was written across his face.

Caught between despair and rage, I phoned the Gold Coast City Council and told them what was taking place and they sent out two Animal Management Officers who photographed and documented the situation so this case can proceed to the full extent of the law.

When the RSPCA Animal Ambulance eventually arrived, the RSPCA lady attempted to use a blow-dart. By now the kangaroo was trying to lay on a steep slope on a putting green, but when he realized he was being pursued by strangers he let out ‘stress-calls’ and started flailing his front paws in clawing motions, with his sharp claws hooking the air as he roared, to warn them he meant business.

Still letting out stress calls, he got up and awkwardly took off, bounding on one hind leg and his tail, with his torn-off leg sideways like a broken rudder. It was absolutely pitiful to watch. I wanted to fall to the ground in sympathy for him – but I had to keep my composure.

Michele Brown©

Gold Coast City Council Animal Management and the RSPCA Animal Ambulance were both in attendance.

Bounding as hard and fast as he could, I could hear him grunting in pain, as he reached a sand bunker. He momentarily stopped and just stared at it – normally he would have bounded over it. He just couldn’t do it. He half fell into the bunker, then dragged himself through the sand and dragged himself up the grass on the other side and collapsed.

We seized the moment as I drove the golf buggy close to him and the lady blew the sedative dart into his side. He leapt up and yelled another roar (similar to a shortened lion’s roar) and took off again, this time heading to a running creek. He balked at the running water, unable to leap it and he lost his balance and fell in. As he rolled over in the water and scrambled up the dart fell out! Somehow he managed to cross the water and scramble into very long grass, where unbeknown to me, his mob were waiting for him.

Kangaroos live in family units so when one of the family is injured, it affects all of them. As the injured kangaroo became tangled in the long grass on the other side of the creek, a hidden female kangaroo and her at-foot-joey jumped up into the air and the critically injured kangaroo collapsed again, disappearing into the long grass. The females were from his mob and they stayed with him, standing guard over him. They too were now distressed. He may even have been her son from a previous year.

Michele Brown©

Over view of the horrific injury, showing the thickening of the leg at the amputation, from the exposed bones and flesh being dragged and scraped on the ground for 2 hours.

I held my breath that the dart would take some effect, at least enough that we could sedate him further and get him unconscious. The RSPCA lady and myself drove to a narrow part of the creek and waded across on foot, along with the volunteer helper who was traveling with her. As I located the injured kangaroo, I spoke kindly to the females, who know me very well. They moved back but were clearly distressed.

The injured kangaroo woke up startled and we had to seize our only chance – we jumped on him and began to wrestle with him. Because we are both experienced kangaroo handlers, we already knew to approach from behind him. I took the front end, with his head and slashing front paws. Partially laying on him, I wrapped a blanket around his eyes, to remove his vision and grabbed both front legs which were slashing the air as he was twisting and roaring.

Michele Brown©

My kangaroo, immediately after wrestling him to get him sedated.

The power in his front legs was astonishing. It was only because he was already partially sedated that we could overpower him at all. Without the first dose of sedation he would have been far too powerful to even consider overpowering. The volunteer had panicked and was hiding behind a tree.

The RSPCA lady was great; she took the rear end and got sedative into him. Now he was drifting to unconsciousness. We had him. We gave him several minutes, then loaded him into a trailer and drove him to the RSPCA Ambulance vehicle where he was unloaded and humanely euthanized.

Michele Brown©

My kangaroo, sedated and being moved back to the Animal Ambulance to be euthanized.

It still brings tears to my eyes to recall this tragic day where such a sweet animal lost his life in such terrible circumstances.

The lady from the RSPCA was extremely professional and I cannot thank her enough for attending. Her manner was calm and she had a genuine love of animals. I was probably not the easiest person to deal with on this day, as I was distressed and angered and at my wits end. But the RSPCA lady wasn’t phased. I am also an RSPCA first responder and animal rescuer, but when its one of your own animals with a horrific injury, it really hits home.

Michele Brown©

Euthanized and no longer suffering.

The City Council

The case is now with the City Council and yesterday they met with me again. There are witnesses to the attack so I am confident justice will be served on my kangaroo’s behalf.

It has since come to light that the same Great Dane has severely attacked two other pet dogs, almost killing one of them. The Great Dane is 9 years old and residents have photographed him roaming in their street, which is illegal. We do not have ‘stray dogs’ and dogs are not allowed to wander outside your own property.

The vicious Great Dane which fatally injured my Kangaroo, wandering around the streets!

The vicious Great Dane which fatally injured my Kangaroo, wandering around the streets!

On behalf of the Kangaroo, the golf course has agreed for me to write a letter to all residents clarifying the no-dog rule, with no excuses and no exceptions. The first two council fines are only $113 but once you hit the third fine it jumps up to almost $600.00 and keeps escalating. It is terrible that one selfish family can cause so much grief and damage to so many!

The vicious Great Dane which fatally injured my Kangaroo, wandering around the streets, pooping on people's lawns.

The vicious Great Dane which fatally injured my Kangaroo, wandering around the streets, pooping on people’s lawns.

How Can A Dog Inflict Such Damage To A Kangaroo?

Almost everyone would usually back a kangaroo winning a fight with a dog, however, this situation was slightly different. This was a tame kangaroo who was possibly sun baking on the side of a putting green (on the downward slope) when he was set upon. If the kangaroo jumped up on the downward slope, his balance would not be as stable as normal and because of the size of the dog (Great Dane) and the slope of the land, the dog just happened to get the kangaroo at the exact moment when his defenses were down.

Kangaroos have hollow bones, as they are designed for buoyancy. They are the only large animal in the world who use hopping for locomotion and can jump 30 foot in a single jump.

Michele Brown©

Kangaroos have hollow bones, designed for buoyancy.

Having hollow bones also means their bones are somewhat brittle. The Great Dane found himself in a perfect storm, meaning not only did he catch the kangaroo in a compromised situation, because of the size of the dog, when he seized the kangaroo’s leg and twisted it and shook it, it snapped the bones as the kangaroo twisted to get away.

In a usual kangaroo / dog attack, the kangaroo would stop and turn toward the dog, sit bolt upright on it’s tail and grab the dog with it’s front paws, lift it up and disembowel it with it’s hind legs. If water is near by, kangaroos are known to swim into water and if followed by a dog, the kangaroo will seize the dog with it’s front paws and hold the dog under water to drown it.

Kangaroos are a fleeing animal, with monocular vision, while dogs are predators with forward set eyes. In a normal situation a dog cannot even begin to match the strength and speed of a kangaroo, but kangaroos are shy and will always try to flee first.

Michele Brown© 592


My wild animals know my voice and we have a mutual respect for each other, hence, they let me get very close to them. When a 7 foot tall Kangaroo allows you to get close, it is a real privilege. I have worked closely with kangaroos for over 40+ years and have hand reared baby ‘joeys’ to adult hood, bottle feeding them every 4 hours around the clock, for an entire 12 months. That includes getting up in the middle of the night for 12 months, plus taking them in the car everywhere you go. I do not take it lightly when gross injury is inflicted upon any animal, including my own!

Michele Brown©

Please support the RSPCA as we need their help to provide care for our wildlife.

If the dog owner had been responsible in the first place this sad situation would never have taken place. The kangaroo lost his life in horrific circumstances because of a dog who was simply doing what dogs do when their instinct to kill takes over. The dog owners knew their dog was vicious but selfishly didn’t care. The City Council will now help the dog owners ‘care’ by stepping in on behalf of the Kangaroo.

If you own a dog or cat please be responsible and think of the effect your “cuddly pet” may cause to other animals and people. It is not only dog owners who allow their pets to roam, but pet cats are perhaps worse than dogs because cats kill so many smaller animals, including bird-life. I am just as happy taking cats for a ride to the pound as I am taking dogs, and as much as I love dogs and cats, I strongly urge all animal lovers to be responsible and also look out for wildlife and notify officials in your own area when you see wandering animals.

Someone has to speak up for wildlife. Let that someone be you!

For further reading about the plight of Australian kangaroos, please read: Kangaroos: Hundreds Of Thousands Annually Slaughtered

Thank you for reading,

Michele Brown.

Source Article from http://speakupforthevoiceless.org/2015/06/03/tame-kangaroo-fatally-injured-by-a-great-dane-dog/

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