Friday 6 August 2004

Canberra Under Siege

Well, almost. You see, we're in drought at the moment. It's currently the rainy season, but you woldn't know it. Yesterday it rained - but we haven't had a day like that for literally months, and one day was all we got. The local wildlife is doing it tough, as this report from the Canberra Times illustrates :
In the third attack in Canberra's suburbs in less than a month, a Nicholls woman was nursing deep scratches to her arms, legs and chest yesterday after a violent struggle with a large kangaroo while walking her dog.

The attack occurred at about 10.30am yesterday in the reserve opposite the Gold Creek Country Club in Nicholls, an area often frequented by children and their pets.

Maree Steer had been walking her Labrador, Nelson, on the reserve when the dog disappeared from view.
"I walk the dog on that reserve almost every single day up there; we see kangaroos there [on the reserve] quite often ... and Nelson has a game where he pretends to chase them away but gives up very quickly."

However, this large roo, estimated at some 1.6m in height and weighing around 60kg, stood its ground while growling ominously.

"Nelson was trying to grab its tail but then it [the roo] turned very quickly toward me and lashed out with its front paw, catching me all down the arm and across the chest with its claws."

"I thought: 'bloody hell, we're in trouble here'."

To buy herself time to get away, Ms Steer picked up a large broken tree branch and "belted it [the roo] across the head".

"It was a bit stunned by that but then the next thing I felt this huge thump on my chest and stomach and I was lying on my back on the ground with the roo standing over me," she said.

She believes it was only that her dog had hold of the kangaroo's tail and it couldn't properly use its powerful hind legs to rip further at her body that she managed to escape very serious injury.

"I just had enough to time to roll away and as I got up, I thumped him [the roo] again with the bit of wood."
And the motto of the story is : you get better results with a kind word and a piece of 4 x 2 than a kind word alone.

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