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

Glynis Quinlan 9 March 2019 152

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.

Posted by Jessica Tam on Tuesday, 5 March 2019

“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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152 Responses to
‘Only in Canberra’: Bizarre stand-off between kangaroo and dog caught on video
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4:36 pm 09 Mar 19

Katie Urquhart look at this flop of an owner

4:33 pm 09 Mar 19

Rooster P McGee these Roos man, one step closer to a takeover

4:32 pm 09 Mar 19

And when the owner is found, they should be charged with endangering wildlife.

4:30 pm 09 Mar 19

Matthew Guest remember when we had our dogs in the water with a roo? That was such an awesome morning. At the hill before they built Gungahlin. We crept up to the roo and the dogs were quite and the roo went straight to the water. Cleo was just a pup.

4:24 pm 09 Mar 19

If you can't control your dog with absolute certainty 100% of the time then put a leash on it.

    5:39 pm 09 Mar 19

    Ruth Lee Martin the owner was not around at the time of the incident.

    6:11 pm 09 Mar 19

    Ruth Lee Martin

    In that case kids should have them too

    6:42 pm 09 Mar 19

    Noelle Waugh No and that's the problem! Why is this dog running around freely?

    7:46 pm 09 Mar 19

    Did you even read the article? Dogs get out of yards, despite your best efforts. This one sounds to have been on the loose for a few days. The owners may well have been just as distraught about their missing Fido.

    8:19 pm 09 Mar 19

    Geeta Datta Derrrrr! it escaped?

    8:26 am 10 Mar 19

    Noelle Waugh even worse!

    9:31 am 10 Mar 19

    Graeme Jackson I realise that but as others are pointing out, dog owners have the responsibility of making sure they don't.

    9:39 am 10 Mar 19

    Geeta Datta please, most dog owner's do make necessary measures so that their dog's don't escape, in saying that, most dog owner's do have a busy life and majority don't have ALL the time in this world like you do to monitor their every step of the day.

    9:41 am 10 Mar 19

    Geeta Datta in this case see the humour out of this particular situation...

    2:43 pm 10 Mar 19

    dogs are smarter than people so that alone shows we need to up our game

    10:33 pm 11 Mar 19

    Ganesh Suppiah And kangaroos are way smarter then dogs,I'm surprised the dogs still alive,the roos are very good at drowning animal especially stupid dogs who follow them into the water. Obviously, the dog owner needs a crash course in roo behaviour.

4:23 pm 09 Mar 19

Jessica your photos and video has gone viral 😂 good job 👍🏻

4:20 pm 09 Mar 19

Read somewhere this is deliberate tactic by Roos, going into water to gain advantage over attacker

4:19 pm 09 Mar 19

Hope owner received a massive fine. Sad to see dog put down, but in reality it should be.

They should have a three strike ban on dog ownership for incidents like this.

    6:36 pm 09 Mar 19

    Rod the dog was put down?

    8:07 pm 09 Mar 19

    Marty Moss I don’t know. But it attacked another animal, think they get a mark on their collar or something, then next time. But I’m not sure. Maybe someone else can confirm. I was just saying it really should be, as mush as it sucks. Can’t have dogs trying to kill or attack native animals or any animals.

    9:10 am 10 Mar 19

    Aidan Dean I can’t see any cat in the photo. Stay on topic. But yes, cats should totally be under the same laws as dogs.

4:18 pm 09 Mar 19

Bloody dog terrifying a kangaroo

It might attack dogs and humans in future

4:17 pm 09 Mar 19

Jason Tanaskovic this what u were talking about

4:16 pm 09 Mar 19

Kangaroos are known to drown dogs. That grab them and hold them under water. What an idiot

4:14 pm 09 Mar 19

Jessica was this you that recorded it?

4:13 pm 09 Mar 19

I've seen kangaroos trying to drown dogs and I know people whose dogs actually did die that way.

I had my dogs do this to a kangaroo once in a pond and I nearly fainted because I was convinced they'd die.

And I can normally call my dogs off kangaroos, but there will always be extreme situations when a series of unfortunate events result in the dog's instinct winning over their training.

Kangaroos are the biggest risk to dogs when walking them off lead. Train recall, recall and recall.

    7:28 pm 09 Mar 19

    And if you cannot train then put them on leash okay? My dog comes back. My dog doesn't go. Or he's on a leash. There's no "extreme situations" when owners are responsible.

    8:07 pm 09 Mar 19

    Sure Ms Perfect.

    How would you know your dog would respond to you when they virtually bump into a kangaroo hiding behind a bush if you haven't come across that situation before?

    9:34 pm 09 Mar 19

    @Ginger Rogers By the look of it, your dog would go howling in the other direction, tail between legs, if a roo suddenly stood up in front of it out of the grass.. Catching it again would be the issue, not calling it back. In that situation you'd be lucky to hold it, even if it were on a good leash.

    11:26 pm 09 Mar 19

    Lin oh goodness I think I'd die if my pup and a roo were facing off... I hope this never happens... also the video the dog looks/ sounds more anxious than aggressive. Is be interested to get a behaviorist view

    9:46 am 11 Mar 19

    Ginger Rogers once a dogs hunt drive takes over no amount of recall will overcome this. You can not account for every possible scenario.

    10:00 am 11 Mar 19

    Jo, one of my dogs has amazing recall. It's near perfect. She will also heel without prompting when she spots roos (or little kids or dogs on lead, etc). But I've been in situations with her where another dog managed to corner a roo and I lost control over her. It took my completely by surprise because there was nothing in in this dog's behaviour that gave me any warning that this would happen. We've trained recall with pretty high distractions all her life.

    Obviously I am more prepared for it now. You need to know your dog's triggers and the limitations of your training. But it comes down to avoiding those situations because there is no way you can train for a rare situation like that.

4:13 pm 09 Mar 19

Obviously not under control of owner. Dog should have been on a leash.

    5:25 pm 09 Mar 19

    Deirdre Russack the dog was taken by ranger afterward, hinting he may have been a runaway and his owner probably wasn’t there?

    6:32 pm 09 Mar 19

    Deirdre Russack did you even read the article?

    7:01 pm 09 Mar 19

    Yes, I did. Thanks. It appears to have been expanded since I first read it.

    9:54 pm 09 Mar 19

    Great it’s a runaway dog...having seen a ‘runaway’ dog, a heeler, attack and damage badly a lab on a lead. I’m sick of seeing dogs off leads running around. I have dogs and they don’t escape and harass people, kids or wildlife, like I’ve seen. It’s getting to a stage where you have to carry a weapon when walking your dog on a lead.

4:09 pm 09 Mar 19

This happened last year In that same pond.. we went their with our children and someone's dog was trying to attack the roo..

4:08 pm 09 Mar 19

Paul Priestly is this you? 😂

4:05 pm 09 Mar 19

Disgraceful of the dog owner letting that dog roam. I hope it’s been impounded.

    4:07 pm 09 Mar 19

    You know we have off leash areas in the ACT, right?

    4:07 pm 09 Mar 19

    I don't agree with the 'impounding' element of your statement However, the dog owner should have stopped this. That is certainly disgraceful.

    4:07 pm 09 Mar 19

    Yes but that doesn’t mean the dog can chase others or wildlife!

    4:10 pm 09 Mar 19

    the dog owner wasn’t there. So what then happens to the dog if not impounded?

    4:19 pm 09 Mar 19

    Heidi Bootle hope it was impounded and a massive fine I posted on owner for terrifying wildlife.

    4:26 pm 09 Mar 19

    I should have read the article first. The dog was on its own indeed. Dogs do sometimes get out though. It's not always a reflection on how responsible the owner is.But he did end up at the pound and the owner will need to pay a fee to get him out.

    5:09 pm 09 Mar 19

    If your dog escapes your property, it 100% is a reflection on your ability to own and maintain a dog. If you can't secure your property to stop a dog from escaping you are simply lazy. A shitty lazy owner.

    5:13 pm 09 Mar 19

    Heidi Bootle always roving dogs in Fadden. Hope it is impounded!

    5:34 pm 09 Mar 19

    Yes, dogs should not be allowed near wildlife. Dog owners should not be allowed to let their dogs run free on public property. No dog can be trusted not to harass wildlife.

    6:02 pm 09 Mar 19

    Jenna Gray absolutely!

    6:46 pm 09 Mar 19

    Heidi Bootle Drown it? Ppl need to actually read the

4:05 pm 09 Mar 19

Dog is lucky the roo didn't drown it, stupid owner letting the dog go in after the roo...

    6:07 pm 09 Mar 19

    LJ Tas the dog was taken by ranger afterward, hinting he may have been a runaway and his owner probably wasn’t there?

4:05 pm 09 Mar 19

And the Duckodiles in the background

Capital Retro 10:14 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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