"Rogue kangaroo" attacks 94-year-old woman in Australia


A joey rescued from a bushfire is cared for in Gisborne, Australia. Kangaroos rarely attack humans, but Australian police had to use pepper spray to fight off a rogue kangaroo that recently attacked a 94-year-old woman in her backyard.


Robert Cianflone

A 94-year-old Australian woman was forced to box a kangaroo when the animal attacked her in her Outback backyard as she was hanging out the laundry.

"I thought it was going to kill me," Phyllis Johnson told Australia’s Courier Mail from her hospital bed. "It was taller than me and it just plowed through the clothes on the washing line straight for me."

The inexplicably furious roo knocked Johnson to the ground outside her home in the remote Outback town of Charleville, Queensland, and kicked her repeatedly, but she fought back.

"I happened to have a broom nearby and I just started swinging at it. I bashed it on the head but it kept going for me, not even the dog would help, it was too frightened," Johnson told the newspaper.

She eventually managed to crawl under a fence to escape indoors, and police arrived at Johnson’s home a short while later.

But the boxing kangaroo, described as a “massive” male, continued to fight. It charged the police officers, who had to use pepper spray to subdue the animal, the Courier Mail reports.

(More kangaroo news from GlobalPost: "Gas-less" kangaroo holds clues to cutting greenhouse emissions)

It is unusual for a kangaroo to attack a human, and Johnson said she had fed bread to friendlier roos in her area before.

“I'm okay, although the roo took a chunk of flesh out of my leg and there's a chance they'll have to operate," she said.

Wildlife rangers later trapped the "rogue kangaroo," the Associated Press reports.