8 March 2019

‘Only in Canberra’: Bizarre stand-off between kangaroo and dog caught on video

| Glynis Quinlan
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A man tries to get the dog to stop circling the kangaroo and leave the pond, without success. Photos by Jessica Tam.

A bizarre stand-off between a large kangaroo and a barking dog in a Canberra pond has been caught on video with a bevy of bystanders trying to prevent both animals from being harmed.

On Wednesday afternoon (6 March), the dog apparently bit the kangaroo’s tail and then followed it into Fadden Pond where it continually circled the kangaroo for 40 minutes barking ‘non-stop’.

However, it was taking a big risk as kangaroos have been known to drown dogs in water and this could well have been the dog’s fate if people hadn’t intervened.

In this instance, bystanders said the kangaroo appeared to be trying to protect itself rather than deliberately trying to kill the dog.

Fadden resident, Jessica Tam, videoed the strange proceedings and said the kangaroo was being “terrorized” by the dog but stood its ground. Her video (shown below) is shared from Facebook.

“The silly dog was getting tired but kept circling the poor kangaroo and barking non-stop and every now and then would get too close and the kangaroo would try and grab it or swipe at it,” Ms Tam told Region Media.

“At one stage the kangaroo dunked the dog for a second but it didn’t learn its lesson, it persisted uninjured and just as determined.

“The kangaroo didn’t seem to want to hurt the dog, it had a lot of opportunities but just stood tall and alert.”

Barking non-stop, the dog circled the kangaroo in the pond for about 40 minutes.

Ms Tam said that rangers who later came to the scene – and eventually managed to get the dog away – stated that kangaroos go into the water to protect themselves and then if need be, will drown their attackers.

There have been a number of past incidents of this happening in Australia, with wildlife biologist Dr Bill Bateman from Curtin University telling ABC Radio in October 2017 that kangaroos are good swimmers and it is common for them to head into water to defend themselves against predators such as dogs.

Ms Tam lives not far from Fadden Pond and was originally alerted to the incident when her mother heard a lot of barking and they went to see what was happening.

“There was a huge kangaroo in the middle of the pond being terrorized by a dog,” Ms Tam told Region Media.

“There was a lady and a man on the edge of the water trying to call the dog out of the pond. At first, we thought it was one of their dogs but soon realised that the owners were nowhere to be seen and apparently the dog had been spotted running around Fadden over the last few days.

“The dog was circling the kangaroo barking and barking, and as scared as the poor kangaroo looked it held its ground.

“The man who was first to spot the poor kangaroo told my mum and I that he’d seen the dog chasing two kangaroos, one of them ran in one direction (it was hit by a car soon after, not sure how that one is now) and the other one went into the pond after the dog bit its tail,” Ms Tam said.

“A man who’d been walking past with his dog was brave enough to get into the water and tried for quite a while to catch the dog or separate it from the kangaroo without success. He got close but the dog was so focused on the roo that it wasn’t fazed at all.

Ms Tam said “more and more people” attempted to get the dog to come out of the pond, including a woman who tried to lure it out with barbecued chicken and a man who tried to tempt it with a pack of sausages offered from a long pool stick.

The dog is shown circling the kangaroo in Fadden Pond.

“People threw balls and whistled and tried everything for about 40 minutes,” Ms Tam said.

“Eventually the rangers turned up and one of them got into the water with a leash on a stick and pretty quickly got hold of the dog.

“It was still barking as it was put in the back of the truck ready for the pound. The kangaroo, after about 20 minutes, hopped out of the pond okay but was very stunned still.”

Ms Tam said it was a wonderful community effort to get the dog out of the pond.

Asked if she found the incident quite bizarre, Ms Tam said: “Yeah, of course. We all stood around and said ‘Only in Canberra’ and that we’d better take photos or no one will believe this ever happened.”

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Capital Retro10:14 am 09 Mar 19

“Ms Tam said it was a wonderful community effort to get the dog out of the pond.”

Bugger the dog, the kangaroo was the victim – it may be very large but it is also very old and docile. It camps in back yards around Fadden.

There are too many viscous, unrestrained dogs in Fadden. It’s time the rangers became pro-active.

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