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July 30, 2018 05:23 PM

A rapidly growing group is gaining influence in Canberra, Australia.

According to news.com.au, thousands of kangaroos are hopping into the suburb outside the city of Ainslie, causing traffic jams, lawn troubles and other pesky problems — like interrupting football matches.

Canberra residents are used to seeing ‘roos around the neighborhood, since their area, as news.com.au points out, is home to some of the highest densities of eastern grey kangaroos in Australia. But things are getting too rowdy even for these experienced locals.

Instead of few kangaroos crossing a busy road at once, now they are hopping across the highway in groups as big as 20. Kangaroos are also invading Canberra yards, leaving behind droppings and chewed-up clods of lawn.

The increase in the marsupial population is likely due to a lack of food in the areas the animals usually call home.

“Canberra is experiencing a perfect storm of hardship for its kangaroos. New records have been set in Canberra for very cold, frosty nights this winter. This, coupled with very dry conditions with very little rain at all in June and July, means there is very little food for kangaroos,” Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Parks and Conservation Service Director Daniel Iglesias told CNN via email.
This scarcity in the wild makes the green areas of the suburbs even more enticing to Canberra kangaroos. Human residents are responding to the animal increase by tweeting out their most surprising kangaroo sightings, adding “roo bars” to their cars and trying to avoid driving in highly trafficked areas during dawn and dusk when the animals are most likely to be on the move — and unfortunately when cars are most likely to be on the road.
Iglesias recommended, via CNN, that those living in Canberra get to know where their local kangaroo mob — often led by a dominant male — hangs out and work to avoid that area. The director also advised keeping dogs on a leash at all times, since kangaroos can get stressed and confrontational around canines.
If you ever encounter a kangaroo in the wild, or in your own backyard, it is best not to approach the animal since they are unpredictable and can act out in self-defense.

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