Mobs of kangaroos take to streets of Australia's capital over food shortages

Mobs of kangaroos have been raiding patches of grass in the Australian capital Canberra, driven to the city's sports ...

Posted: Jul 30, 2018 12:06 PM
Updated: Jul 30, 2018 12:06 PM

Mobs of kangaroos have been raiding patches of grass in the Australian capital Canberra, driven to the city's sports fields, back yards and roadsides by food scarcity.

Canberra residents have taken to social media with images of the jumping marsupials exploring outside their usual habitats. But beyond the cute photo opportunities, the hungry kangaroos are at risk of dying on the roads as their feeding times coincide with rush hour.

Canberra has more than 30 nature reserves, with most hosting hundreds of Eastern Grey Kangaroos, and it is not unusual to see them in the reserves or in roads or yards nearby, Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Parks and Conservation Service Director Daniel Iglesias told CNN.

But he said this winter the animals were far more visible.

"Canberra is experiencing a perfect storm of hardship for its kangaroos. New records have been set in Canberra for very cold, frosty nights this winter. This, coupled with very dry conditions with very little rain at all in June and July, means there is very little food for kangaroos, " Iglesias said, via email.

"Sports ovals, suburban yards, schoolyards and roadsides are the few places offering any green grass at all in Canberra at the moment and they act as magnets for kangaroos," he said.

Driving in areas with large populations of kangaroos is ill-advised during the animals' dawn and dusk feeding times as they can jump in front of moving vehicles without warning. Many larger cars in country areas have "roo bars" on the front of the vehicle, to act as a breaker for those in the car, should a collision with a rogue kangaroo take place.

Kangaroos are social animals and live in large groups known as "mobs," often headed by a dominant male.

"Get to know where your local mob hangs out and avoid them, or slow down, especially during peak movement periods of dusk and dawn," Iglesias said.
"People should also keep their dog on a lead as it can be very stressful for kangaroos to be chased by dogs and the dogs also put themselves at risk of being harmed."

On its website, the ACT government says Canberra's Eastern Grey Kangaroo population means the city qualifies as Australia "Kangaroo capital."

The ACT's Department of Environment says numbers have increased to the extent that some nature reserves have some of the highest densities of kangaroos per square kilometer in Australia -- up to almost 700 per square kilometer.

Kangaroos are considered a pest in most areas of Australia and culling is legal.

The ACT government carries out an annual cull, which it says is aimed at lessening the animals' impact on ecosystems and threats to some local flora and fauna species.

This year's cull finished July 27. Iglesias said 3,253 kangaroos had been removed from seven of Canberra's reserves but that there were still "tens of thousands" in the city.

Human residents still dominate in the capital, which has a population of around 400,000, but across Australia there are double the number of kangaroos to humans.

According to a 2016 report, there are more than 44 million kangaroos in the country. As of the 2016 Census, Australia has a human population of 24 million.

Currently in Canberra, kangaroos are looking for food at the same times as residents are traveling between their homes and workplaces.

"The short winter days means people are commuting to work at dawn and home at dusk, bringing motorists and kangaroos together in a potentially deadly way for kangaroos," Iglesias said. "Wildlife rangers are reporting record numbers of roadkill with Canberra on target to record its highest ever tally of 'roos reported killed by collisions with cars."

Motorists who hit kangaroos should not attempt to move them as they could put themselves in danger, he said, noting that residents needed to be cautious around the animals as they became a more familiar sight.

"Kangaroos will get used to having people around and their drive to find food will overwhelm their cautious nature. People should never approach a 'roo to pat or feed it -- it will inevitably mistake your well meaning advances and you risk it striking out in self-defense."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 20573

Reported Deaths: 878
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin6918534
Ramsey231697
Stearns192312
Nobles14572
Anoka116455
Dakota105935
Olmsted55110
Washington50626
Kandiyohi4541
Clay36623
Rice3652
Scott3462
Wright2401
Sherburne2081
Todd1970
Benton1662
Carver1612
Mower1501
Steele1400
Martin1245
Blue Earth1121
St. Louis11113
Pine850
Freeborn840
Winona7715
Carlton730
Nicollet683
Cottonwood620
Polk582
Otter Tail550
Itasca527
Goodhue522
Watonwan500
Chisago481
Dodge430
Meeker420
Crow Wing421
Le Sueur411
Chippewa400
Jackson390
Morrison380
Murray350
Becker320
Lyon310
Douglas290
McLeod260
Isanti250
Waseca240
Rock210
Unassigned199
Fillmore171
Mille Lacs161
Wabasha160
Swift150
Sibley120
Beltrami120
Wilkin113
Norman110
Kanabec111
Cass113
Faribault110
Brown112
Pipestone100
Marshall80
Pennington70
Pope70
Aitkin60
Wadena60
Yellow Medicine50
Koochiching50
Lincoln50
Mahnomen51
Renville50
Lac qui Parle30
Red Lake30
Big Stone30
Redwood30
Traverse30
Grant20
Houston20
Clearwater20
Hubbard10
Kittson10
Lake10
Roseau10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 17227

Reported Deaths: 456
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk3714108
Woodbury255524
Black Hawk167639
Linn92775
Marshall86611
Dallas84914
Johnson5987
Muscatine54339
Wapello5004
Crawford4772
Tama39023
Louisa3347
Scott3319
Dubuque31916
Jasper25616
Buena Vista2310
Pottawattamie2106
Sioux1990
Washington1798
Allamakee1184
Wright1170
Plymouth1080
Warren1060
Story941
Poweshiek888
Bremer676
Henry611
Clinton601
Boone540
Des Moines531
Mahaska526
Cedar451
Guthrie433
Taylor370
Benton371
Jones360
Monroe334
Iowa320
Clarke320
Osceola320
Shelby310
Buchanan310
Clayton303
Marion290
Webster271
Fayette260
Hamilton260
Madison241
Monona230
Cerro Gordo221
Lee220
Winneshiek210
Davis200
Lyon190
Grundy190
Harrison190
Floyd181
Jefferson150
Cherokee150
Butler150
Mills140
Delaware140
Humboldt130
Sac130
Greene130
Keokuk130
Hardin130
Howard120
Hancock120
Appanoose123
Audubon111
Jackson110
Cass110
Ida100
Page100
Clay100
Winnebago100
Carroll90
Van Buren80
Franklin80
Dickinson80
Adair80
Chickasaw80
Kossuth70
Emmet70
Lucas60
Montgomery60
Union60
Adams50
Ringgold40
Fremont40
Pocahontas40
Mitchell40
Palo Alto30
Worth30
Unassigned30
Calhoun20
Wayne10
Decatur00
Rochester
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 74°
Mason City
Overcast
70° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 70°
Albert Lea
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 73°
Austin
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 79°
Charles City
Scattered Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 75°
Storms a brewin'
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Will Memorial Day cause a coronavirus spike?

Image

Can you catch Covid-19 from mosquitos?

Image

125 Live Restaurant partnership

Image

Taps in City Park

Image

100 Most traveled days in MN have begun

Image

Parade in the park

Image

Field of Flags

Image

Pausing the pandemic to remember the fallen

Image

Memorial Day Dinner

Image

Salvation Army Dental Care Needs PPE

Community Events