A WOMAN will undergo surgery this afternoon after she and her husband were pinned down and attacked by a six-foot-tall kangaroo at their home on Queensland’s Darling downs.
Linda Smith, 64, was critically injured while trying to save her husband from being battered by the large buck on their property off Ayers Road Road at Cypress Gardens, southwest of Toowoomba, early on Saturday evening.
Speaking from her hospital bed this morning, lucky to be alive, Mrs Smith – a wildlife carer of 15 years – said her husband Jim was feeding up to 30 kangaroos and wallabies when a large male roo turned on him.
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“Around 30 kangaroos and wallabies come in each night to be fed,” she said. “We feed them a mix of grain and chaff as with the drought there’s nothing out there.”
“This one kangaroo came in and I thought it was Golly Gosh, one of the kangaroos we have raised. He was a huge grey, would have been at least six foot.
“My husband Jim was out there feeding him when he (the kangaroo) started attacking him.
“Jim was on the ground and the kangaroo just kept at him.
“I have never seen one that aggressive – it was in there for a fight and it wouldn’t back off.”
Mrs Smith, who has been caring for wildlife for the past 15 years, rushed to her husband’s aid, but the kangaroo was too big and she too was brutally attacked.
“I went outside to try and help him and took a broom and a piece of bread but he knocked the broom out of my hand then attacked me,” she said.
“I got him off Jim and Jim got up and I managed to grab a piece of wood to defend myself with that.
“Then my son came out to try and help me and hit him over the head with a shovel.”
Paramedic Stephen Johns said Mrs Smith suffered significant injuries, including broken ribs, a punctured lung, torn liver, other internal injuries and multiple lacerations and abrasions to her arms, legs and back.
She was stabilised at the scene before being rushed to Toowoomba Base Hospital in a critical but stable condition. She remains in a stable condition and was expected to undergo surgery this afternoon.
Her husband was taken to Millmerran Hospital with multiple lacerations, while the couple’s son aged in his 40s was treated by paramedics at the scene for minor wounds.
“Paramedics were unsure what they were actually going to be presented with,” Mr Johns said.
“On there arrival, they were certainly shocked to be confronted with such serious injuries.”
Despite her the extent of her wounds, Mrs Smith said she understood what happened “was an act of nature”.
“I have never been one to want to hurt animals,” she said. “I don’t want this kangaroo to be hunted down and killed, I love animals.”
“When you’re a carer you learn the dangers of all the other kangaroos and you’re always aware they are wild animals.
“I am always careful, especially of the males. It’s breeding time so they can be more aggressive.”
Mrs Smith said she first became a wildlife carer after discovering a joey that had lost its mother on her 60acre property about 20 minutes out of Millmerran.
“I was out for a walk one day and saw this kangaroo on the fence. Two days later it was still there and we noticed there was a joey, so that was the start.”
Since then she has cared for many more joeys including ones she has affectionately named Honey, Cleopatra, Floyd, Golly Gosh, Sweet Pea and Dick Tracy.