Are Kangaroos Dangerous?

We have all heard about the legendary kangaroo, their size and weight are incredibly impressive. They are a very strong animal that knows how to defend itself against anything that it considers an enemy.

They are an ever present danger to those who drive at night and anyone who is caught unaware. The world’s largest marsupial has numerous ways to inflict damage if you did happen to find yourself on the wrong side of one. 

Are Kangaroos Dangerous

Kangaroos come equipped with some sharp claws and powerful legs can smash bones, cause you flesh wounds and also injure your eyes.

People with dogs are especially susceptible to being attacked due to kangaroos (Also check out Are Kangaroos Smart?) due to them seeing dogs as a threat. 

If you take care then kangaroos are a harmless animal so long as you behave accordingly around them. They are typically good natured and are more fearful animals than perceived to be and will only resort to attacking humans in the rarest of cases.

So despite the numerous videos you will find online of kangaroos having a scrap but you can find that for any animal so does that mean the kangaroo is more aggressive than other animals? 

Read on and find out as we go over the biggest dangers that a kangaroo will pose to you and how you can protect yourself if they are aggressive.

Are They Dangerous To Humans

Kangaroos can be dangerous to humans no matter how rare the circumstance may be if they do attack a human it can be fatal.

Kangaroos will not go out of their way to attack humans so if you find yourself encountering one then you should always take caution.

As you should know it is never advisable to approach some kangaroos who are not used to being around humans.

But there are circumstances where kangaroos will be aggressive so here are those times so you know how to avoid the situations:

When Around A Dominant Male

Untitled design 1 2

The dominant males are especially aggressive during mating season when they are pursuing some females to mate with. The males during this period will be a threat to humans as they will seek to exert their dominance to protect their territory.

During their mating period you should aim to stay away from their line of vision as if they spot you and commit to the attack then they will be faster than you.

Females Around Their Young

Mothers will be very defensive of their young and will attack if they perceive you to be a threat.

Regardless of whether the baby joey is in the pouch or not they will be as equally aggressive so they are best just avoided altogether.

When They Are Grazing

Kangaroos are a grazing animal so they usually will care more about eating then they will about attacking you.

When grazing they will really only be a threat to you if you own the land they are grazing and suffer wounds whilst trying to remove them as they do not like being told where to go. 

Car Accidents

The biggest threat when it comes to kangaroos is that they are seemingly attracted to causing car crashes. People have been seriously injured and even died from crashes that involved hitting or attempted to avoid hitting a kangaroo.

How To Avoid Accidents Involving Kangaroos

Now that we have discussed the biggest threats they face to humans lets discuss perhaps the greatest threat that they cause, which is road accidents and the steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim of their suicidal behaviour around the roads.

The first thing that you can do is to slow down when driving in the evening and in the dark as having as much time as possible to slow down when driving in kangaroo country is pivotal to remaining safe.

If you see a kangaroo always slow down regardless of where you are but make sure that you do not endanger any other drivers on the road.

Kangaroos are incredibly unpredictable animals and may well decide to leap out into the road without a second thought so just be aware of their presence and remember that kangaroos prefer to live in groups called mobs so be assured that the one you see is not the only one around so do not let your focus drop once passing the first and most obvious one. 

Are They A Danger To Dogs?

We have covered their danger to us humans and how we can best avoid the threat that they can have. But what about our furry companions?

Kangaroos are a threat to your dog and whilst they will not go out of their way to attack they will defend themselves more readily than they will from a human. 

In fact kangaroos have developed a tactic in how to deal with four legged attackers, they will flee to some water where they can stand but the attacker must swim out to them.

When the pursuing animal swims out to attack, the kangaroo will use its weight and sharp claws to force the animal underwater and attempt to drown the animal. 

If there is no water then they can readily use their sharp claws and powerful leg muscles to inflict some serious damage to any predators like a domesticated or wild dog.

They will attempt to grab the dog where they can then kick out with their strong clawed legs and when in this position they can seriously injure or kill your dog. So dogs and kangaroos can never be friends not even with female kangaroos.

Final Thoughts

Kangaroos are large and one of the most unique animals to inhabit our beautiful planet, but they can also be one of the most dangerous.

Much like every wild animal you must always be cautious around them despite their docile nature they are always unpredictable when they feel threatened and then there will be kangaroos dangerous. 

Make sure to give them as much space as possible and if you feel you have gotten too close then carefully and slowly back away from them until you feel the distance is safe enough.

It is an iconic creature of Australia and is generally herbivore but can pose dangers when threatened. Male kangaroos use their sharp claws and powerful hind legs, may attack to establish dominance or when cornered. Though rarely, such encounters might cause serious harm, requiring medical attention due to deep cuts or potential disembowelment. 

While most kangaroos prefer to flee or give chase, it’s crucial to respect their space in the wild. Even pet kangaroos, often seen as friendly, possess wild instincts. Understanding these behaviors is vital as kangaroos, including the red, eastern grey, and western grey species, remain magnificent yet potentially hazardous creatures in the wild.

Olivia Kepner