An Australian family had a rude awakening when an intruder kangaroo leaped through the window of their suburban Canberra home early Sunday morning and landed in the master bedroom.
Beat Ettlin and his wife, Verity Beman, were awoken at about 2 a.m. to their dog barking furiously in their backyard, which borders on a wildlife reserve.
Beman, 39, said they ignored the barks thinking it was only possums, which are prone to scurrying across their roof.
But minutes later, the window smashed as a dark figure flew through the air and landed on the bed, in which their nine-year-old daughter was also sleeping, Ettlin said.
"My initial thought, when I was half awake, was it's a lunatic ninja coming through the window. It seems about as likely as a kangaroo breaking in," Ettlin, 42, told local media on Monday.
The disoriented and injured kangaroo started jumping madly about the room and on them in the bed, he said.
The family took refuge under the blankets and the animal continued to jump on them searching for a way out of the room.
"I was under the covers thinking, 'This is a very big possum,' " Beman told the Canberra Times.
"I just kept holding the covers over my head and felt the kangaroo jumping on top of us and on our body," she said.
'There's a 'roo in my room'
Ettlin said the kangaroo eventually found its way out of the master bedroom but headed for the room of his 10-year-old son, who began screaming, "There's a 'roo in my room."
Ettlin said that was when he realized his family could be in real danger from the animal and that he had to get it out of the house.
Dressed only in his underwear, Ettlin went to his son's room and jumped on the animal's back, pushed it to the ground and grappled it into a headlock.
He said he had to wrestle the marsupial, which he estimated was about two metres long and weighed at least 90 pounds, out of the front door of the suburban Canberra home.
Eastern gray kangaroos are common around the leafy Australian capital.
The animal was bleeding and thrashing around during the ordeal, he said, and left a trail of blood and claw gouges in the floor, walls and some furniture. Ettlin only suffered some minor scratches and shredded underwear from his efforts to drag the kangaroo out of the house.
Disappeared from sight
He said he knew the animal could be dangerous and did his best to keep the struggling kangaroo close to the ground while he fought with it and fumbled to open the front door with one hand.
After he got the kangaroo out of the house, it headed into the nearby bush and disappeared from sight, Ettlin said.
The family reported the intrusion to local police and wildlife authorities.
Wildlife authorities confirmed on Monday that they had received a call about an injured kangaroo that entered a home and left. A spokesperson said they've been unable to locate the wounded animal.
Greg Baxter, a Queensland University professor of Australian wildlife, said kangaroos rarely invade homes but can in instances of panic.
Officials said the animal likely hopped a fence into the house's backyard and felt trapped and in trying to find a way to escape, jumped through the window.