From the Newsroom

A photo of a kangaroo family staying together.

Toddler attacked by kangaroo in South Grafton

Emma Pritchard

Within seconds, it was over.

But for Connie, it was a frightening moment in time which felt like eternity.

The South Grafton mother recalls watching her two-year-old daughter Georgia and her partner Daniel playing with remote-control cars together in the backyard of their Bent Street residence around midday on June 15, when a sudden movement caught her attention.

Bounding across the open grass while making grunting and growling noises, a juvenile male eastern grey kangaroo raced up to the little girl and kicked her over before turning around and striking at her again while she lay on the ground.

Daniel, who was only metres away, quickly intervened and threw one of the remote controls at the marsupial to stop the attack before gathering Georgia into his arms and carrying her inside.

Spooked, the kangaroo hopped away.

The shocking incident was captured on the family’s CCTV, and has since been viewed and shared countless times on social media.

While Georgia sustained minor injuries including scratches to her forehead, bruising on her stomach, and a couple of slight grazes, and was her usual happy, bubbly self within half an hour of the incident occurring, her mother is urging other Clarence Valley residents to remain vigilant and to educate their children about the potential dangers associated with wildlife, especially if they live in rural or remote areas.

“It happened out of the blue,” she said of the attack.

“The level of intent, it was like the kangaroo lined her up and just went for her.

“I’m not really sure what triggered it (the attack), whether it was because Georgia was small and/or bouncing around on the ground while she was playing, I haven’t a clue.

“She had only toddled about 5m away from Daniel, and I was watching them both from the veranda above the yard where they were when the kangaroo suddenly appeared.

“It all happened so quickly, but it felt like time froze.

“I was running parallel along the veranda, screaming, and I’m so thankful that Daniel had something in his hand which he could throw at the kangaroo to get it off Georgia.

“He later told me he was scared she was going to get torn open during the attack, and thank goodness being winter she was dressed in thick clothing which gave her some protection.”

Prior to the incident, Connie told the Clarence Valley Independent she had observed a mob of kangaroos spread out over an estimated distance of between 100m and 200m from her home, and said there are normally upwards of 30 kangaroos which frequent the area, with a majority of them being females and their offspring.

“Where this one came from, we have no idea,” she revealed, adding it looked a bit ragged and scrawny, and didn’t appear to be in as good of condition as the others she and her family regularly see.

“We have lived here for almost two years, and we were aware of the kangaroos in the area before we purchased our one-acre property.

“We always stay close to Georgia when she’s outside, and we always point out the kangaroos to her because we want her to be aware of them, to learn about them, and be respectful of them.

“We’re always mindful of the kangaroos.

“Nothing like this has ever happened before.”

While Connie revealed their backyard, and many of those belonging to their neighbours are not fenced, she and Daniel have spoken about building an enclosed area for Georgia to play in.

“It has never really bothered us,” she said of the open area which adjoins their property to neighbouring boundaries.

“A fence isn’t going to make too much of a difference because kangaroos can jump between 2m and 3m.

“It would offer some protection, but it wouldn’t be 100 percent preventative either.

“We just want to encourage people to please keep an eye on their children at all times and educate them about wildlife.”

Connie also revealed she reported the attack to a Clarence Valley Council (CVC) ranger, who she described as “very helpful and informative”, and National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).

Following the incident, Georgia is continuing to recover and still enjoys watching the kangaroos.