Intimidatingly Jacked Kangaroo Makes Itself at Home in Australian Suburb

Increasing numbers of the iconic marsupial have been wandering into urban areas because of Australia's most recent drought.
May 25, 2015·
Josh Scherer has written for Epicurious, Thrillist, and Los Angeles magazine. He is constantly covered in corn chip crumbs.

In one corner, standing six feet six inches tall and weighing in at 209 pounds, the thunder from down under, packing a wallop of a right cross and a super-cool double-leg kick thing where he balances on his tail: "Big Buck," the red kangaroo who can't stop flexing his pecs for the camera.

In the other corner: the entire town of North Lakes, a quiet suburb of Brisbane, Australia. The massive kangaroo has been stalking parks, golf courses, and streets over the past few days, leaving residents both weirded out and impressed.

“We turned the corner and old mate jumped out. He’s very big and I don’t want to take him on,” Linda Hellyer told Seven News Brisbane. “He’s got massive, massive muscles, big pecs and everything, and he stood up because he was obviously a bit frightened of the dogs. We didn’t intend to get that close because we obviously know kangaroos can be a bit dangerous.”

Big Buck, as the residents of North Lakes nicknamed him, likely wandered into town looking for resources that have been made scarce by Australia’s most recent drought.

Kangaroos wandering into urban areas has been a long-standing problem in Australia, where the large marsupials outnumber humans 34 million to 23 million, according to estimates from the government's Department of the Environment. They have been known to cause traffic accidents, crash through the windows of homes, and—because they often go rogue in search of food—destroy vegetation and make life difficult for farmers.

RELATED: No, Really: Australia Has a Good Reason for Killing Almost 700 Koalas

In 2010, the Australian government passed the ACT Kangaroo Management Plan, which led to officials culling more than 2,000 of the marsupials in 2012. Director of Parks and Conservation Daniel Iglesias said in a press release that the cull was “needed to maintain populations at appropriate levels to protect the integrity of ecosystems, several of which contain endangered flora and fauna.” Similar population reductions have been proposed since.

Such moves have angered animal rights groups; they say the planned killings of kangaroos have no scientific basis.