Australian official warns tourists to stop feeding kangaroos

One man required 17 stitches to his face after being attacked.

Kangaroos may look incredibly sweet and cuddly, but they do come with a warning.

Greg Piper, a lawmaker in Australia, wants tourists who travel to his country to stay away from the animals, especially after many foreigners have been attacked by them.

Piper recently opened up parliamentary debate on the issue of kangaroo management at Morisset Hospital.

The hospital, a mental health facility and residential facility for people with developmental disabilities, has become a popular tourist destination because of the large number of kangaroos that live on the hospital grounds.

The property's kangaroos are not monitored by the National Parks and Wildlife Service, and the hospital says it is not equipped to support the tourists.

A number of incidents have been reported in which tourists have been attacked, causing injury. In most cases, the visitors had been kicked or scratched by the long claws of a kangaroo. One man required 17 stitches to his face after being attacked.

“I do not want to stop people from seeing kangaroos, but the situation has to be better managed. The kangaroos have become so desensitized to human contact that they will freely approach human visitors to obtain food, which leads to many of the kangaroos becoming aggressive,” Piper said.

To keep visitors safe, Piper is suggesting that more signage be added to the hospital’s grounds, warning tourists not to feed the kangaroos. He also wants the National Parks and Wildlife Service to assist the hospital staff with the animals.

Morriset is located about 90 minutes from Sydney.