Australian woman survives attack by large kangaroo

AP News
Posted: Oct 19, 2011 2:56 AM
Australian woman survives attack by large kangaroo

An Australian woman said she thought she was about to die when a huge kangaroo attacked her while she was walking her dogs.

Janet Karson, of the southwestern Australian town of Deanmill, told The West Australian newspaper in a report published Wednesday that she was walking her dogs on Saturday when the kangaroo appeared. One of her dogs chased after it and she hurried to catch up. When she arrived, she said, the kangaroo had its claws locked onto her pet.

"I used a stick to lever its claws off my dog and then it reared up in front of me _ it was huge," Karson told the newspaper. "All I can remember is its claws going to work on me and the smell of my own blood when my head fell on to its chest. I thought, 'That's it, I'm finished.'

"It all happened so quickly _ it was over in a few seconds."

Karson isn't sure if the dogs fought the kangaroo off her or if it decided to end the attack on its own. The mauling left her with cuts to her neck, ears and back. She said she needed 20 stitches to close the wounds to her ears.

"I honestly believe it's a miracle I'm alive," she said.

It is not clear what kind of kangaroo attacked the woman. Male red kangaroos, the world's largest marsupial, can grow as tall as a man and weigh around 200 pounds (90 kilograms).

Kangaroo attacks against humans are rare, but they do happen occasionally. In July, a 94-year-old Australian woman fought off an attacking red kangaroo with a broom before police subdued the animal with pepper spray.

Karson did not return calls seeking comment from The Associated Press.