Clarrie comes off second best

A Beerwah man recently had a lucky escape when he was attacked by a sizeable male kangaroo in his backyard.
Clarrie and Jill Schefe have lived in their Stephenson Street house, behind Australia Zoo, for many years and kangaroos have always been part of their neighbourhood.
However, they said that in recent times kangaroo numbers had increased and they were becoming less afraid of people.

Clarrie was still shocked when a big buck viciously turned on him not far from his back door.
“I went out the back and shooed at the kangaroo, as it’s been getting gamer of recent times,” Clarrie said.
“It went to hop towards the reserve at the back so I turned to go back inside.
“Next thing, the roo was charging at me. It reared up and kicked at me, knocking me to the ground.
“I was on the ground, stunned and it was standing over me. I called out for help and luckily the neighbour was close by and came to my assistance.
“He scared the kangaroo back off me and I was able to escape into the house.”

Using his powerful back legs and sharp toes, the 2m tall kangaroo had shredded Clarrie’s sturdy yard pants and caused over six serious wounds to the back and front of his legs.
Doctors in Beerwah treated Clarrie for the wounds and gave him a course of strong antibiotics and a tetanus shot. Hopefully he is on his way to a full recovery.

Clarrie reported the incident to Sunshine Coast Council and the customer service person he spoke to told Clarrie that they had received other reports from his neighbourhood of aggressive kangaroos, so the incident wasn’t isolated.
In fact, Clarrie had previously reported the risk of aggressive kangaroos in and around the children’s playground on Sidney Drive to Cr Rick Baberowski.

At that time, the council responded by planting a hedge, which Clarrie says achieved very little.
Coming from a farming background, Clarrie is well aware of the need to be cautious around animals and understands that kangaroos are wild animals and can be unpredictable and deserve respect and distance.
“But small children don’t understand that. They pat kangaroos at zoos and see them as all the same,” Clarrie said.
“So there really needs to be some duty of care from the authorities to deal with the situation when large, potentially dangerous wild animals become a problem in and around residential and public spaces.”

Last Thursday, wildlife officers from the Queensland Department of Environment and Sunshine Coast Council met Clarrie at his house to go through the incident.
“They were very polite and understanding, and listened to my concerns,” Clarrie said.
“Unfortunately, in the end there’s little they said they could offer except to possibly put up some warning signs in the nearby playground.”

The officers recommended that anyone experiencing a threatening incident involving native wildlife, such as large kangaroos and magpies, should report the incident to authorities.
To report to the Department of Environment call 1300 130 372 and press option 1. To report to Sunshine Coast Council call customer service on 5475 7272.

Feature image: One of the kangaroos in the area

Clarrie’s pants and legs took a beating