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Kangaroo incident prompts warning

AN INCIDENT involving a kangaroo attacking a Fairway Drive resident at South Grafton last week has prompted authorities to remind people to minimise the risk of conflict with these native marsupials.

National Parks and Wildlife Service, Clarence South Area manager Andrew Lugg said following the most recent  attack the NPWS conducted an inspection of the area with Clarence Valley Council and met with local residents

"The NPWS will licence the destruction of at least three mature male kangaroos based on a field assessment of kangaroos in the area and the description provided by the victim and other residents," Mr Lugg said.

"The close association of humans and kangaroos can easily lead to kangaroos losing their natural fear of people in a process called humanisation which can lead to conflict," he said.

"As kangaroo numbers are directly related to conditions and fluctuate accordingly targeting individual humanised animals is considered the most effective way of reducing the risk of a repeat of these sorts of attacks.

"Kangaroos are wild animals of substantial size and power that react instinctively and this most recent incident highlights the need for people to be aware of kangaroos and their nature at all times.

"Kangaroos can become used to the presence of people. Feeding or handling them can cause them to loose their instinctive fear of humans"' he said.

"With males this can also be perceived as a threat to a sparring partner or as challenge to their group dominance."

Mr Lugg said some of the things that people can do to reduce the risk of kangaroo conflict include fencing backyards to exclude these animals or removal of kangaroo food, shelter and water opportunities.

"People can reduce the risk by the way they behave around kangaroos. It is important that people not attempt to feed or make contact with kangaroos in any way.

"While this may not be so much of a problem for the individual feeding kangaroos it can create serious risk of conflict when these animals then approach other people in the neighbourhood.

"People can also modify their routines to avoid areas where kangaroos occur and children should be closely supervised.

"Grey kangaroos can grow as large as 2.3 metres from head to tail and weigh up to 95 kilograms. They are a significant feature of the bushland of Eastern Australia and deserve our respect."

Information is available to help people better understand how to live with kangaroos is available at http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/animals/Livingwithkangaroos.htm.

Topics:  kangaroo attack, south grafton, sue lawrence


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