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

By Glynis Quinlan 9 March 2019 155

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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89 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.

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.

    9:00 am 10 Mar 19

    God forbid one dog chases a roo, but no one bats an eye to the thousands of cats and cat owners letting their cats out all day and night hunting our local wild life from birds, small mammals, lizards etc lots of native wildlife but yeah condemn the dog that was put in a situation where it's instincts kicked in 🙄

    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.

    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.

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.

4:05 pm 09 Mar 19

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

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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