A HASTINGS father who snatched his son from the grasp of a kangaroo last year has urged authorities to take action.
The call has come after the most recent roo attach seriously wounded a Lake Cathie woman.
Andrew Galea, also of Lake Cathie, saved his two-year-old son’s life when he fought off an aggressive female kangaroo in the backyard of their home in October.
The animal pinned little Zakkiah to the ground and attacked the toddler.
As Mr Galea ran to his son’s aid, “the kangaroo picked him up and had him off the ground”.
“As I was running toward them, this horrible feeling came over me, and I thought the roo was going to run off with him.”
Mr Galea managed to fight off the and the pair retreated to their home, where Zakkiah was handed to his grandmother.
Before the concerned father could turn, the kangaroo charged, hit him in the back and continued its attack.
“It scratched my left arm pretty bad, but I just kept hitting it and it bounded about 20m away again,” he said. “I dropped to the ground hurt. But then I looked up and it was coming at me again, grunting.”
Mr Galea rushed into the nearby garage, grabbed a pipe.
“It took off after I hit it a few times,” he said.
Zakkiah was rushed to hospital and treated for a gash to his thigh, a puncture wound to his chest, two deep cuts from his mouth to his ear, scratches and bruises.
Despite the harrowing ordeal, Mr Galea holds no ill feeling towards the animals.
But wants authorities to research why what feels are an increase in attacks.
“Something needs to be done, but I’m not saying they need to be killed,” he said. “The National Parks and Wildlife need to actually come and spend some time in these areas and research what’s going on.
“Just in our street alone, there’s been a number of attacks. One guy actually heard knocking near the front door, opened it, and it was a roo that attacked him.”
He fears what will happen if steps were not taken to look into the incidents.
“Is it going to be the same story as a black spot on the highway?” he asked.
“Are they going to wait until someone is killed before they do something?”
Public affairs officer Lawrence Orel said there was no evidence to suggest there was a large increase in animal numbers.
But the population fluctuated, he said.
“During a drought, of course the numbers decline,” he said. “If anything, it’s the increase of people who choose to live in these semi-rural areas.
He said the offending kangaroos have been wrongly labelled as “rogue” animals.
“It’s not accurate to identify a kangaroo as rogue,” he said. “It is a combination of things, at the time, that can trigger the reaction from the roos. They react instinctively.”
Mr Orel offered a number of tips to help keep the animals at bay.
“Do not, in any circumstances feed them, they become too humanised,” he said. “Be careful and just keep your distance, especially if there are joeys around.”
Contact the service’s office on 6588 5555 for more tips about fencing and vegetation that deters kangaroos.