A Melbourne fitness trainer who was injured when she was attacked by a kangaroo while on a run in the city’s north-east says she feared for her life during the encounter.
Debbie Urquhart was running near long grass in Templestowe at 6:00am on Saturday when she said a kangaroo came out of nowhere.
“All of a sudden … a massive kangaroo came out at me and he knocked me over, knocked me down and took the wind out of me,” she said.
“I was rolling over and protecting myself and he got my arm and my neck.
“[It] knocked me down in the grass and was jumping on me and I was screaming.”
She said the attack lasted about one minute and the kangaroo left only when she stopped screaming.
“I thought I was quite strong, but I’m too small and he just threw me around,” she said.
“I just lay in the grass and hoping to God he didn’t come back.
“[It was] Very very frightening.”
Ms Urquhart said the kangaroo made a “horrific” moaning noise during the incident.
“If he had have come back for me he would have killed me, most definitely,” she said.
She said after the attack she picked herself up and returned home covered in blood.
“I suppose I was in shock, I knew what was going on, I was conscious but I was losing a lot of blood,” Ms Urquhart said.
She said she had not provoked the kangaroo.
“He could have knocked me out, he could have left me in the grass,” she said.
“He’s dangerous. He’s very, very dangerous.”
‘Rare’ show of aggression by roo
Kangaroo expert Ross William from Healesville Sanctuary said the kangaroo’s behaviour was out of the ordinary.
“For an aggressive display like that, it’s really very rare,” he said.
“It does happen but it happens very, very rarely.
“It’s quite difficult to know what triggers this sort of behaviour.”
Runner ‘looked like she’d been through a mincer’
Ms Urquhart’s husband, Rob, said he heard his wife scream when she returned to their home and saw her covered in cuts and blood.
“She was standing there covered in blood from head to toe, T-shirt and shorts shredded to pieces, it looked like she’d been through a mincer,” he said.
“I could see the wound on her right arm was looking rather serious so I quickly got a towel and a couple of tourniquets and raced her off to the Austin Hospital.”
He said kangaroos were common in the area, particularly in groups, but the kangaroo that attacked his wife appeared to be alone.
“As a rule, if you don’t provoke them and let them be, everything’s fine,” he said.
“We’ve run through these areas for years now and make a little bit of noise and they just take off generally.
“But Deb had no chance with this one. It came from nowhere.”