According to ABC News, the Kangaroos of Morisset Hospital in southern Lake Macquarie are viciously attacking tourists, and apparently their addiction to carrots is to blame for their behaviour.
“There are people getting kicked and scratched at least every day,” tourist shuttle bus driver Shane Lewis said.
“One lady got 17 stitches in her face from her eye to her chin.”
“The kangaroos see at least 2,000 tourists a week and they don’t need 2,000 carrots or bananas and bread, chips and biscuits,” Mr Lewis said.
“I’ve even seen some silly people feeding them McDonalds, KFC, corn chips, oats and there are some foods they are very aggressive for.”
Mr Lewis has made a business out of shuttling people from the Morisset train station to the kangaroos at the hospital, but wants more done to prevent people feeding them.
He said he did his best to educate people and warn them of the dangers and, over the past eight months, has been collecting photos of injured tourists to help convey the message.
“Once I show them the photos they usually pull their kids away and put their food away when they know what can actually happen,” he said.
“There was a guy who got his stomach gashed open and he wasn’t even feeding them but … they’d been to McDonalds 10 minutes before, so whether they still had the food smell on them I have no idea, but for some reason the kangaroo took to him.”
According to the experts the kangaroos have most likely lost their fear of people, and have grown hungrier for the unnatural food being delivered to them.
“If they see a carrot and they’ve been fed a carrot 100 times before by a tourist, then they’re going to come up and take that carrot,” said Andrew Daly, an animal keeper at the Australian Reptile Park.
“And in doing so they can be quite aggressive. They can kick, they can scratch with their front paws and do quite a bit of damage, especially when they’re trying to get those foods that they really like, or could be addicted to.”