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Eastern Grey Kangaroo (male)

Macropus giganteus giganteus


This large male kangaroo and I met on the track, and when he assumed this position and "coughed", I stopped dead in my tracks! I know potential aggression from kangaroos when I see it, and I particularly recognised his facial expression. It's not an expression worn by an animal that's frightened, and it was obvious he had already sized me up! This fellow had a torn ear and was definitely more battle-hardened than me, so I chose to give way and backed off slowly. He was probably 20-25 metres ahead of me, but capable of covering that distance in a heartbeat, plus he was alone! Trying to scare him off could backfire badly and I had no intention of being a hero, so I showed that I was no threat and he hopped off shorty afterwards. "Both male and female eastern grey kangaroos usually communicate with each other and their young using clucking noises. When alarmed, they can also emit a guttural cough. This cough is also heard when males warn each other, fight, or display dominance. All grey kangaroos stamp their hind legs on the ground when they sense danger. This stamping, along with the guttural noise, sends a warning that travels quite distantly." ("San Francisco Zoo", 2004; Moore, et al., 2002; Poole, 1982) Adult males can weigh up to 90 kg, and exceptionally large males when high-standing can reach a height upwards of 2 metres, so they are formidable animals that are not to be messed with or underestimated, even those of smaller stature! They are pure muscle, and the sharp claws on their hind legs can disembowel and kill! Many dog owners can attest to that fact! Check this video out to see what you're up against. Note the facial expression and backward-turned ears (particularly from 0:25 secs) because this is a big warning, and it's the exact-same warning my kangaroo was giving me!....


Spotted along a trail in Girraween National Park, SEQ. Dry sclerophyll forest, open meadows, and swampland areas along the creek course. Lots of native grasses too which kangaroos and wallabies love! There's also a natural freshwater pond at this location. Here's some park info -


The last photo in this set shows a freshwater pond that animals frequent, roughly 100 metres or so from where I made this spotting. I was last at this location 2 months ago, and halfway across the field (to the rear) when I disturbed a mob of 20-30 roos. It was a warm day and they were resting in the shade of the trees around the pond. They bounded off into surrounding bushland, but it so happened that not all the roos were with the mob. At that moment I saw ears popping up in the long grass, then entire heads, to the left and the right of me, but they were still a reasonable distance away. Then a couple of them stood, and they were adult males that were showing no signs of fleeing. Not wanting to be caught out in the open, I started making my way towards the nearest trees. Trees and shrubs provide a good barrier against attacking kangaroos, and the last thing I wanted was to be a sparing partner for some cocky young male! I saw a kangaroo attack someone once, and was astounded by the speed at which this dangerous situation escalated! Being by myself and out in the open posed a risk, so I felt it was best to err on the side of caution and head for cover. They followed the mob in their own good time.

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Neil Ross
Neil Ross 6 months ago

Thanks, Jae. There was nothing friendly about this animal, and he was more gym toned than me. I had no intention of going anywhere near him!

Jae 6 months ago

Great notes and spotting, Neil. Imposing kangaroo, he has clearly been working out in the gym :)

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 8 months ago

Thanks, Sukanya. You always leave wonderful comments and I'm grateful that you read my notes :) I understand the risks of my environment and take the necessary precautions. Wild pigs, snakes, sharks, kangaroos, etc - I don't underestimate any animal, and the last thing I want is to see a big roo bouncing my way, particularly an angry, cocky or frightened one. I try not to put myself in risky situations and prepare as best I can for the unexpected, and that mostly negates the need for valour. People that get hurt have usually put themselves into harms way, due to lack of experience and understanding, or even from overconfidence!

SukanyaDatta 9 months ago

After all, discretion is the better part of valour.

SukanyaDatta 9 months ago

I really love your notes, Neil. And this time I was 'almost' there!!! You did good to back off.

Neil Ross
Spotted by
Neil Ross

Girraween, Queensland, Australia

Spotted on Oct 8, 2020
Submitted on Oct 9, 2020

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