A 7-year-old girl suffered cuts and bruises on her face, arms and back after she was attacked by a kangaroo while playing near a picnic area in New South Wales, Australia.
“I thought I was going to die,” she told Reuters. “Everything was gray, gray, gray.”
Makayla McEvoy was playing near a group of kangaroos when one charged at her, pinned her to the ground and began to kick her.
“It just jumped on her back and knocked her to the ground and started – it was just jumping up and jumping up on top of her and scratching her,” Makayla’s mother, Emma McGovern, said.
Her step-father, Mitch McGovern, ran to save her from the attack.
“As I jumped over the top of Makayla to get rid of the kangaroo, all I could see was she was lying, sort of, face-down on the ground with her shirt. It was all ripped, and her back was cut,” he told Reuters.
“Honestly, I thought she was dead. She didn’t make any noise. She didn’t scream for help,” Emma McGovern said.
Makayla was rushed to the hospital where her wounds were treated. She was released from the hospital but has cuts and scratches on her face, back and arms.
The animal that attacked Makayla was an Eastern gray kangaroo.
Overpopulation of large species kangaroos, such as Eastern grays, is a problem in Australia. This, along with urban development, has creatde situations in which kangaroos live in close proximity to humans.
“In my experience, they just want to be left alone,” said Adele Dodge, head keeper of the Australian Islands region at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Columbus, Ohio. “They are fight or flight animals. If given the opportunity, they will flee. But if they feel threatened or cornered, it’s certainly within their capabilities to fight back.”
The average male Eastern gray kangaroo can grow up to weigh 145 pounds and stand more than 6 1/2 feet tall. Females are typically smaller, and weigh around 70 pounds.
Despite Makayla’s traumatic experience, she still plans to pursue her dream of becoming a veterinary surgeon. “I love animals,” she said.