Kangaroos are an Australian icon, and a selfie with one is bound to rack up the Instagram likes. This trend is beginning to cause problems, as tourists in New South Wales have taken to luring the animals closer with food – and getting attacked for their trouble.
Morisset Hospital in Lake Macquarie is famous for its population of wild kangaroos, and thousands of tourists flock there every week to see them. To try and snap the perfect selfie, many visitors have lured the animals closer with carrots and bread, or even fast food like KFC and McDonald’s.
This has caused a serious problem: it turns out the kangaroos rather enjoy human food, and are no longer wary of humans, meaning some are becoming aggressive in trying to get their hands on it. Some tourists have received nasty bites or slashes.
Warning: the below images of injuries are graphic.
The problem has become serious enough that Australian MP Greg Piper has called for a coordinated response from the National Parks and Wildlife Service, the Minister for Health, and the Minister for the Environment.
Piper said in an address to parliament: “Despite a number of warning signs being placed throughout the area, people still come in droves and they feed the kangaroos processed foods. Recently one attacked a man, who required 17 stitches in his face.”
We love Australia and its wildlife, and we believe as many young people as possible should fly out there to see it. However we must stress that feeding kangaroos, or any wild animal, is a bad idea. Always observe and take your photos from a safe distance – there are plenty of Australian animals that have no interest in hurting you. Otherwise sites like this will have no choice but to ban tourists going near the animals.
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