Roo-thless! Retiree feared for life in home kangaroo attack
A RETIRED Ninderry woman is nursing severe scratches and deep bruising after she was viciously attacked by a female kangaroo protecting its joey on her rural acreage.
Esma Armstrong, an Order of Australia Medal recipient for her community work with natural resources, admitted she feared for her life as the kangaroo relentlessly clawed at her with its front paws on Saturday morning.
The 78-year-old Sunshine Coast Senior of the Year for 2013 said it was a timely lesson to be careful of kangaroos when they are with joeys.
That's even though this joey was about four metres away from her when its mum attacked.
Mrs Armstrong was left bleeding profusely with her clothing, including her underwear, ripped to shreds by the kangaroo before a neighbour came to her rescue.
She is used to seeing kangaroos on her property and has never had an incident before.
"You can see up to 24 of them here sometimes," she said.
"That's when it attacked me," she said.
"I was bending down to pick up the lose passionfruit and I turned around and she was there.
"I heard a 'hrr, hrrr' and she was right there and started clawing me to pieces.
"She kept at me. I yelled out for help but my neighbours are not real close and my mobile phone was in my pocket.
"The thought went through my head 'how long will it take before it's clawed me to pieces?'.
"It was using its front claws but I must have moved to get up and then it got me with its back feet.
"I still have marks on my back where it kicked me."
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She feared if she moved further along to a corner in the trellis, 'that's it, I would have been finished".
But the kangaroo may have slipped on the slope or the joey moved away as she was left alone and was able to call her neighbour for help.
"I went to the doctor and they patched me up," she said.
"I'm still oozing (from the scratches) and my arms are nearly black-and-blue. It ripped my shorts and my undies, I must have looked a sight. "My neighbour helped clean me up."
Mrs Armstrong, who grew up on the land, admits she was feeling more cautious about going into her backyard.
"I went out on Sunday afternoon and I saw her and her baby there. I stamped my feet and clapped to get her to move on, but she just turned round and looked at me.
"I went back inside.
"She is a familiar one, she is here most of the time during the week.
"It's an important reminder - we are always saying be careful with the buck kangaroo and a lot of people don't think the female is vicious, but she is if she has a baby.
"The baby would have been four metres away, but she obviously saw me as a threat."