An Australian woman said she was stalked by a kangaroo for two days before eventually having a vicious confrontation with the animal.
Kirrily McWilliams of Port Macquarie in New South Wales, Australia repeatedly called the National Parks and Wildlife Service in the days leading up to the attack but received no response, according to a report in The (Sydney) Daily Telegraph. She said a growling female eastern gray kangaroo broke through a fence and attacked her dog, a mastiff, in the backyard of her home, and a day later the same kangaroo came after her.
McWilliams was picking her daughter up from the school bus when the kangaroo charged her in her driveway. The kangaroo pounded and scratched her and left a 12-inch gash on her back after she curled up into a ball on the ground with nothing to hide behind, according to The Daily Telegraph.
"It was lucky it was cool weather and I had two layers of clothing, otherwise it could have been worse," she told the paper.
The kangaroo later confronted McWilliams’ husband in the backyard while she was at the hospital, and he warded off an attack with a shovel. The couple again contacted National Parks and Wildlife Service but said they did not hear back until a day later, when the organization allowed a temporary permit for a shooter to kill the animal. By that time, it had moved on and attacked someone else.
"I'm for protecting kangaroos but there seems to be nothing in place to help people," McWilliams told the paper. "I had to be injured before they did anything. I have three children and it could have been one of them."
This was not the first attack by a kangaroo in the New South Wales area. One scratched and bloodied a 2-year-old boy in 2011, and in January 2012, a 7-year-old girl was cut and bruised on her face, back and arms when a kangaroo attacked during a family picnic.
"Kangaroos do attack people quite regularly if they're annoyed or too domesticated," Jenny Stokes, a spokeswoman for the National Parks and Wildlife Service, told TODAY.com. "Kangaroos are wild animals of substantial size and power that react instinctively, and this most recent incident highlights the need for people to be aware of kangaroos and their nature at all times."
Stokes noted that permits to shoot and kill kangaroos are issued "only as a last resort if an animal has exhibited aggressive behavior." She said the incidents involving McWilliams and her family ultimately led to the death of two aggressive kangaroos.
The New South Wales Department of Environment and Heritage has issued guidelines to help people avoid confrontations with eastern gray kangaroos. They include not walking directly toward the animals, not going near kangaroos that are growling or clucking, not moving between a female and her offspring, and not allowing a pet dog near a kangaroo, which could provoke a fight.