The right way to handle a kangaroo? Just leave them alone.

You’ve probably seen the video doing the rounds on social media of a guy in Australia being ‘mongrelled’ by a kangaroo in central Victoria.

Apparently a bloke called Cliff Des spotted the kangaroo bothering his dogs and when he tried to shoo it away it went for him.

The resulting brawl between man and marsupial goes on for close to six minutes.

Whenever such footage goes viral I’m always asked if this sort of thing is normal in my homeland. As an expatriate Aussie, people want to know if I’ve had similar experiences with our feisty wildlife.

While I’ve never gone toe-to-toe with an Eastern Grey, I was reminded of a visit to Pebbly Beach on the south coast of NSW with my young nephew James.

Pebbly Beach is famous for the mob of kangaroos that live on the sand there. I was so busy taking photos I kind of lost track of what my nephew was up to. 

When I finally I turned around to check on him, I discovered that he’d grabbed one of the kangaroos by the tail.

Luckily, he’d latched on to one of the more long-suffering members of the mob. So I didn’t have to go home and explain to my sister why her only son was covered in kangaroo claw marks. 

It could have turned nasty. 

So while I love this photo, it’s also a reminder of the one thing you are taught about snakes and spiders and even kangaroos when you’re growing up in Australia.

Leave them alone and they’ll leave you alone.

Until they don’t. 

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