War has broken out in a previously-quiet coastal town with people forced to carry weapons when they go out and about to fend off a group of 'aggressive' kangaroos.
Maaroom, in Queensland, Australia, which has a population of only just over 200 people, has become the scene of a stand-off between the residents and the roos – with the state’s parks and wildlife service urging people to stay away from the ripped animals.
Following a series of attacks over the past year, some locals have even reverted to trying to use their cars to mow the roos down.
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Last month, a 67-year-old woman was attacked by a kangaroo while she was walking in the town.
She was knocked over by the beast, which then began kicking her, leaving her with a broken leg and bite marks. A man with a stick stepped in but, undeterred, it fought back against the man and chased him off, reports ABC.
In another attack in the Fraser Coast town, a victim suffered spinal injuries.
The Department of Environment and Science (DEF) is working with the regional council following these serious attacks and says people should keep their distance – and retreat if they approach.
The number of roos in the area has been growing and authorities have had to remove multiple problem animals, although they insist there won’t be a cull.
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Caravan park manager Karen Sutcliffe has had to warn her visitors about the problem.
"There are too many to count, really. They're constantly hopping around the park in between caravans," she said.
“People are walking around with a big stick now. I’ve been wanting to go fishing of an afternoon but I won't do that, just in case a kangaroo gets me. They're just so quick."
Linda O'Hare, another resident, said: “We do have seasons where there aren't so many joeys born, but this one's been quite wet so there’s a lot of them around.
“The problem a lot of the time is that the joeys get separated from their mothers – one may be on the other side of the road or in another yard and the female kangaroo gets very upset and that sometimes makes her aggressive.
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“I know of one situation where a lady went out to check the letterbox and must have gotten between the mother and the baby, and the female kangaroo attacked her and another lady who came to her aid.”
A DES spokesperson said: "The kangaroos are living in the local area and are thought to be feeding on grass growing in the residents’ yards.
"DES has received reports that some residents may be feeding the kangaroos.
"Increased access to natural and human-provided food, including lawns, have likely contributed to increasing the population of kangaroos and [changed] the way in which they interact with people.”
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