A SOUTH Grafton woman fears she could have been killed when a huge male kangaroo attacked her in her backyard.
As it is Sue Lawrence has spent a considerable amount of the last five days in the trauma unit of the Coffs Harbour Health Campus recovering from horrific injuries to her lower legs.
Mrs Lawrence, who lives alone in her home near the Grafton Golf Course since her husband, Peter, died last year, was working in her garden when the kangaroo attacked soon after midday on Thursday.
She said the kangaroo, she estimated to be more than 2m tall, attacked her at least five times after pushing her to the ground.
It sliced open her calf on her right leg and ripped out the muscle and inflicted deep puncture wounds in her left leg.
"I did not see him," Mrs Lawrence said. "Next thing I'm on the ground - he must have pushed me over."
"He started jumping on me and then he'd turn around and come back and have another go.
"I think he did that about five times."
Mrs Lawrence was able to push herself into the garden so the animal was only able to strike at her legs.
"If I hadn't been able to do that it could have been a lot worse.
"If it had been anything else, I'd be gone."
She could not say how long the attack lasted, but her ordeal was far from over.
"I just screamed and screamed and screamed, just trying to get someone to help me, but there was nobody around," Mrs Lawrence recalled from her hospital bed yesterday.
Even as she lay there screaming the kangaroo stayed and watched Mrs Lawrence bleeding on the ground.
Then it hopped away.
"I saw my leg and I thought, oh shit, I've got to help myself so I crawled up to the house. Had to. Yeah," she said.
It was a 60m journey, with a lot of stops on the way, before she crawled into her garage, found her mobile in her handbag hanging on the door and hit 000.
The 000 operator phoned her neighbour, Denise Pavlovic, who tended to her wounds while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.
Mrs Pavlovic said National Parks and Wildlife Service rangers had been in contact with her and said they would cull some kangaroos.
"They said they would start today (Monday)," she said.
"But I don't know if they will because of the rain."
Mrs Lawrence returned home late yesterday and will stay with her sister, Diane Rogan, while she recuperates.
What to do - Avoid confrontation
Things you can do to avoid confronting:
- Do not walk directly towards a kangaroo.
- Do not stand up tall, stare or hold your arms out towards a kangaroo.
- Do not go near kangaroos engaged in courtship or mating behaviour - for example, males sniffing, touching or moving round with females.
- Do not go near male kangaroos that are sparring, fighting or showing off their size and strength to each other.
- Do not go near a kangaroo that is growling or clucking.
- Do not move between a female and her joey.
- Do not allow your dog to approach a kangaroo.
- Kangaroos will vigorously defend themselves against dogs, and this may draw you into a dangerous situation.
- Information from the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change