Kangaroo and Wallaby Interaction

The following information is for Sanctuary Cove Residents and Sanctuary Cove Golf Club Members and their Guests.

Living with Wildlife
In Australia we are lucky enough to have some of the most unique animals in the world and on the Gold Coast we are occasionally able to view these wild animals living in their natural habitats. However, due in part to urbanisation and a lack of attractive habitat, wallabies and kangaroos living on a bushland fringe of a suburban area may start to encroach on areas which could become dangerous for them and for the humans who come in to contact with them.

It is important that people are aware of what it means to live with wildlife and especially to come in close contact with large wildlife such as kangaroos & wallabies.

It is the responsibility of every individual to take care around wildlife, be aware of the threats wildlife may pose to you or your health and to act accordingly. This document aims to provide some brief information on how to best enjoy the wildlife that the Gold Coast has to offer – from afar!

Kangaroos and Wallabies
The kangaroo and its cousin the wallaby are Australian icons. As kangaroos often do not pose a threat to humans and because we rarely come in to close contact with these incredible animals we have lost much of our wariness, respect and first-hand knowledge of how they live and thrive in the wild. Although you may have seen a kangaroo or wallaby before and maybe feel relatively safe around them it is important you are aware of how important it is to enjoy these animals but at a distance.

If you see a kangaroo or wallaby stay away from it and watch how it behaves, each animal, like humans, have an individual personality and kangaroos or wallabies that are injured, sick, mating, protecting joeys (baby kangaroos) and acting dominantly may become defensive and if approached dangerous.

By watching the animals that live near you, you can learn to identify them and their behaviour.

Feeding the Wildlife
Please do not feed the kangaroos or wallabies or any other wildlife which you may come in to contact with. This brings them in to close contact with humans and increases any potential risks or dangers they may pose to people.

Additionally, exposing them to an artificial diet can often cause severe and varied health problems for their individual species.

What if a Kangaroo or Wallaby Becomes Aggressive?

While many people see large male kangaroos as placid or lazy, in reality they can quickly become aggressive towards humans if provoked, cornered, threatened, injured, while mating or protecting something or due to lots of other, different reasons.

You should always keep a safe distance from a kangaroo or wallaby regardless of its behaviour, it is a wild animal and human contact may make it feel threatened and it could become aggressive.

However, if you do find yourself in a situation where a kangaroo or wallaby has become aggressive, hold up a stick or branch, stay behind a tree or fence creating a barrier between you and the animal and move away from the animal as quickly as you can. Turning your back on it and running could be dangerous as a large male could easily outrun a human and still kick at the same time.

The Queensland Government’s department of Environment suggests ‘running side-on’ and protecting the front of your body with your arms and keeping your head as far away from the animal as possible to minimise being scratched on the face’.

Where a male kangaroo or wallaby is exhibiting dominance, rubbing their chest on the ground, standing on their hind legs, arching their back or tensing their muscles it most likely feels threatened and experts suggest acting submissive to avoid an attack. Crouch down, avoid eye contact, and back away while letting out a short, low cough or grunt—that’s how kangaroos admit inferiority to a more powerful male.

As a very last resort, if you cannot escape, roll up into a ball on the ground with your arm covering your neck and call for help. Try and roll or crawl to a safe place.

A Healthy Respect
A kangaroo or wallaby’s size, strength and speed warrant showing them a healthy respect. When living with them the best solution is to have a relationship of mutual awareness and wariness. Understand that they are wild animals and be ready for them to be potentially dangerous.

We encourage Members, Residents and their Guests to:

  • Be aware and wary of wildlife on golf courses and other common areas;
  • Always keep a safe distance from kangaroos and wallabies;
  • Research what it means to live with wildlife and understand the consequences of potentially dangerous situations;
  • Educate your children, visitors and friends about having a healthy respect for wildlife;
  • Never feed the wildlife which may from time to time be on common areas or the golf courses;
  • Look out for signage and notices from authorities which relates to having caution of wildlife.

The kangaroo and wallaby are very unique and amazing animals. To lose the experience of being able to have these incredible Australian wildlife icons simply from not being educated and not understanding how they live, and how we should live with them, would be a terrible loss to the special experience we at Sanctuary Cove are privy to watching from time to time.  

Further Information

Get more information on kangaroos, wallabies and living with wildlife from the below links:

https://www.ehp.qld.gov.au/wildlife/livingwith/kangaroos.html

http://www.cws.org.au/eastern-grey-kangaroo/

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