Many of us living in the bush and country have experience

Many of us living in the bush and country have experienced a large male kangaroo camping out around the house and garden for days or weeks at a time.
Nanjing Night Net

These lone male roos may inspire a little nervousness in the landowner; as they stand taller than a man and weigh just as much.

Male roos are renowned for their fighting abilities and their powerful kicking action with the hind legs.

This happened at our house recently; a big old man roo started feeding on the grasses next to our outdoor toilet, just metres away from our well-used back door.

This one was well past his prime; thin, with grizzled fur and a scar on one ear. He lacked the broad muscly chest of the healthy male, and showed a deep reluctance to move.

I could find little information about these male roos and their behaviour, and appropriate human/roo etiquette, so I interviewed Jon Rowden of Hepburn Wildlife Shelter.

Jon says they get many inquiries about large male roos around the house. When a male roo arrives on your doorstep, he has probably just been ousted from the kangaroo group or mob by the new alpha male.

This process involves fighting and your visitor may be recovering from injuries, as well as wounded pride.

Houses in the bush or on the farmland/bush edge are usually at the edges of the mob’s territory, and provide protection from persecution from the other kangaroos especially at night.

Our houses and gardens also provide resources such as fresh water, grasses, and protection from the elements. Some old roos have been discovered sheltering in sheds.

The old fella may need three or four days of complete quiet at first, during which he moves very little.

As he recovers, he will be able to move off during the day further away from the house and garden.

Like nearly all animals, the kangaroo is safe to have around unless he feels provoked or frightened.

If your visitor looks directly at you and makes the “Skippy noise”, then do this back to him, as this says ” Yes, I can see you and hear you, and I am not a predator”.

Approach him slowly and confidently if you need to get past him rather than sneaking around, and at night walk loudly and with a torch so you do not surprise him.

If the roo makes a growly kind of loud “rrr” sound, he is making a warning sound and you should back off accordingly.

Old roos can injure or kill dogs if they feel under threat, so it is important to keep your dogs and the roo separate if you think there is a chance your dogs will try to attack.

I kept my terrier and cavvy on a lead whenever they were outside, which was quite an effort for the two weeks or more the old fella stayed around.

But it was well worth it. Our old man roo passed away peacefully one night next to our little outhouse, under a blackwood tree.

His teeth were very worn away; he must have been of a great age, probably 15-years-old.

It was such a wonderful privilege to have a wild animal feel safe to die a gentle death of old age in our space.

Many thanks to Jon Rowden for help with this article.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Posted by at 05/05/2018
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