As It Happens

Kangaroo recovering after causing chaos in Australian family's home, rescuer says

A family in suburban Melbourne, Australia, had to call in a wildlife rescuer to subdue an agitated kangaroo wreaking havoc in their house.

It was the family's first encounter with a kangaroo

The kangaroo suffered cuts from jumping through windows, as well as worn claws from hopping on pavement. (Five Freedoms Animal Rescue/Facebook)

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Manfred Zabinskas described the Australian home broken into by a kangaroo as a scene out of Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 thriller Psycho.

"As soon as we entered the home, we could see blood up on the walls. There was blood all over the carpet. I saw into the laundry and there was blood splattered everywhere," Zabinskas, a wildlife rescuer who was called to the scene, told  As It Happens guest host Piya Chattopadhyay.

A family in outer-suburban Melbourne was startled awake in the early hours of Sunday morning when the kangaroo — since nicknamed Norman Bates, the Psycho antagonist — smashed through a bedroom window.

The kangaroo hopped through the house in panic and smashed another window in an attempt to escape, leaving each room looking like a horror movie, Zabinskas said.

The living room window that the kangaroo smashed in a failed attempt to escape the home. (Five Freedoms Animal Rescue/Facebook)

After running amok, the exhausted marsupial finally collapsed in the washroom, where the surprised family was able to lock the door and call the police.

Family's first encounter

Mafi Ahokavo, who was roused awake with his family, told 9 News that he had never "even seen a kangaroo."

The police called Victoria Wildlife, which in turn called Zabinskas, who owns and operates Five Freedoms Animal Rescue.

He arrived on site to handle the situation and tend to the distraught, badly-cut, 65-pound male kangaroo.

While Zabinskas said the family was shocked at encountering a kangaroo in their bedroom, it's not anything out of the ordinary for him.

"It's not unusual for me because I look after sick and injured kangaroos. So while we're talking on the phone here, I've got eight kangaroos around me in my loungeroom," he said.

The exhausted kangaroo, seen here sedated, collapsed in the bathroom. (Five Freedoms Animal Rescue/Facebook)

The kangaroo was so exhausted from its ordeal that Zabinskas was able to sedate and throw a blanket over it without much opposition.

It had suffered cuts that a veterinarian had to stitch up, as well as bloodied and worn toenails.

Pushed out of habitat 

Zabinskas said that's an indication that the kangaroo had been frantically running on hard pavement for a long time, likely lost trying to find his way home.

Kangaroos have been increasingly pushed out of their native habitats by the furious expansion of housing and shopping centres in the Australian state of Victoria, Zabinskas said.

He believed this incident is just another example of the impact development has had on local kangaroos. 

"We've got huge new industrial zones being built there into areas," he said.

"So it was actually heading into the right direction to go back to the nearest open fields where kangaroos would be living but it just reached a barrier of houses, fences and closed gates and in its panic it just took what looked like ... probably the only passage back home."

Road to recovery 

The kangaroo is now recovering at the Five Freedoms Animal Rescue, and Zabinskas said they are legally obliged to return him to his home ground.

The kangaroo — nicknamed Norman Bates — is recovering at the Five Freedoms Animal Rescue. (Five Freedoms Animal Rescue/Facebook)

He acknowledges that returning the kangaroo to the area is problematic, and said he plans to speak with locals to find a nearby open grassland where the kangaroo will not be impacted by human development. 

"It's been hard work so we look forward to being able to get him back home safe and sound," Zabinskas said. 

Written by Sarah Jackson. Produced by Ashley Mak. 


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