Here's Why Kangaroos Might Try to Drown Your Dog

In October of this year, a video emerged online, capturing a kangaroo's attempt to drown a dog in a river in Australia. However, this incident is not an isolated occurrence, as it turns out that marsupials have employed this peculiar tactic before. Mick Moloney, while strolling along the banks of the Murray River in northwestern Victoria, Australia, suddenly realized that his loyal companion, Hutchy, was nowhere to be found. His gaze shifted towards the water, where he witnessed a kangaroo standing waist-deep, with its arms submerged. To his astonishment, Hutchy emerged from the water gasping for air, expelling water from his mouth, and howling in distress. Moloney recounted this harrowing experience to the Australian broadcaster 7News.

a Kangaroo Trying to Drown a Dog

Without hesitation, Moloney waded through the river to rescue his dog, who was ensnared by the kangaroo. A viral video captured the moment when Moloney took a swing at the offender. In retaliation, the kangaroo delivered a punch.

Nevertheless, both Moloney and Hutchy managed to reach the riverbank unscathed. This bizarre encounter, which transpired on October 12th, represents the latest documented clash between a kangaroo and a pet dog, where the kangaroo seemingly attempts to drown its canine adversary. In 2020, a similar incident occurred in the Brisbane River in Queensland, where a small dog narrowly escaped its fate after confronting a towering 5-foot kangaroo, as reported by 7News Sydney. Additionally, in 2014, a kangaroo endeavored to drown two staffies after being cornered by the dogs in a dam in New South Wales.

The question arises: why do these marsupials exhibit such behavior? Euan Ritchie, a professor of wildlife ecology and conservation at Deakin University in Australia, explains that kangaroos perceive dogs as a threat due to their striking resemblance to dingoes, one of their most formidable predators. Dingoes, which are Australia's largest land predators, genetically fall somewhere between a wolf and a modern domestic dog. It is believed that the ancestors of modern dingoes were brought to the mainland by humans around 5,000 to 8,500 years ago, gradually adapting to a diet of marsupials and reptiles.

The introduction of modern dogs to Australia occurred much later, in 1788, with the arrival of the first ships carrying British and Irish convicts. Dingoes hunt kangaroos in packs, employing a relay system to exhaust their prey. They either bite at the kangaroo's hind legs to slow them down before going for the throat or approach from the side to directly attack the neck. In response, kangaroos seek refuge in the nearest body of water, a strategy that has proven effective against domestic and farm dogs as well, according to Ritchie. In some cases, if pursued by a dingo or dog, a kangaroo may even attempt to drown its pursuer.

This instinctive behavior has evolved as a means to fend off predators, as explained by Graeme Coulson, an esteemed honorary principal fellow at the University of Melbourne specializing in kangaroo behavior and ecology. Coulson emphasizes that male kangaroos possess the strength and agility to confront a four-legged adversary in the water, as he shared in an email with Live Science. Specifically, male eastern gray kangaroos, one of Australia's four kangaroo species, can weigh up to an impressive 150 pounds (70 kilograms), according to Ritchie. These males boast robust, muscular arms and sharp claws, which they skillfully employ to submerge a dog and potentially drown it.

It is worth noting that the red kangaroo, the largest living species of kangaroo, can weigh up to a staggering 202 pounds (92 kg) in males. Therefore, dog owners must exercise caution when encountering kangaroos, as Ritchie warns. Kangaroos have been known to attack humans, inflicting serious harm through powerful kicks or scratches. To ensure the safety of both dogs and humans, it is crucial for dog owners to prevent any harassment or harm towards kangaroos.

To keep dogs safe from potential conflicts with kangaroos, it's advisable to avoid areas known to have a high kangaroo population. Additionally, dog owners should keep their pets on a leash when walking in kangaroo habitats. This not only protects dogs but also ensures that kangaroos are not unnecessarily stressed or harmed.


Post a Comment

Post a Comment (0)

- -
To Top