Roger went viral in 2015 thanks to a photo showing him effortlessly crushing a metal bucket
Roger, a kangaroo known around the world for his impressive muscles and feats of strength, has died.
The Kangaroo Sanctuary, Roger’s home in Australia’s Northern Territory, shared the sad news on Saturday.
In a Facebook video tribute, Chris Barnes, the owner of the sanctuary, said that his “beautiful boy” died at 12 years old from old age (a kangaroo’s life expectancy is anywhere from six to 20 years).
In his tribute, Barnes shared the story of how Roger came into his life.
Ten years ago, long before a photo of the kangaroo crushing a metal bucket made him a viral superstar in 2015, Barnes built the sanctuary for the muscley marsupial and the kangaroo’s “wives,” so the animals “would have a place to live.”
According to The Guardian, Barnes found alpha male Roger in 2006, when the animal was just a joey — orphaned after a car killed his mother. Barnes took Roger in, built the Kangaroo Sanctuary and raised the little kangaroo into the 6-ft., 196-lb. behemoth that the Internet knew and loved.
Roger’s fans from all across the globe have posted tributes to the kangaroo on social media. Among them is Australian singer Natalie Imbruglia, who called Roger “such a proud strong boy” in a Instagram Stories post, reports CNN.
The Kangaroo Sanctuary’s Facebook page is filled with photos and videos of Roger flexing and crushing objects, but that wasn’t what he was about toward the end of his life. According to The Guardian, the burly kangaroo got calmer and softer in his later years. The last photo taken of Roger shows the animal casually reclining and staring off into the distance.
Roger is now buried at the sanctuary, so he can always be close to his family. But his memory will live worldwide. As Barnes added at the end of his video tribute, “He grew up to be a kangaroo that people from all over the world have grown to love as much as we love him too.”