SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian wildlife carers Jim and Linda Smith are lucky to be alive, an ambulance official said, after they were attacked by a kangaroo in northeastern Queensland state.
The Smiths were feeding wild kangaroos on their property in the Darling Downs when a grey kangaroo buck struck out at Jim Smith, knocking him to the ground.
The kangaroo attacked his wife, Linda, when she ran to help him, leaving her with a collapsed lung, broken ribs, cuts and scratches.
“It’s scary, it knocked me over once or twice and once they grab you, you can see what they do”, Jim said, showing his injuries.
It was only when their son came out and hit the kangaroo with a piece of wood that the marsupial stopped the attack and returned to nearby bushland, Australian media reported.
Linda Smith was taken to Toowoomba Hospital, where she underwent surgery, media reports said.
“If the kangaroo was able to continue to inflict further injury, her life was, yes, in danger,” Queensland Ambulance Service’s senior operations supervisor Stephen Johns said.
Australia has roughly 45 million kangaroos and it is not unusual for them to come into conflict with people as housing has expanded to areas where the marsupials live.
They are even more likely to be driven into populated areas in search of food and water in drought-stricken areas.