Living with Kangaroos

Kangaroos inhabit rural areas and many parklands across Hume City. As Australian native wildlife, they are a protected species. A 2018 population survey conducted by Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) estimated approximately 11,000 Eastern Grey Kangaroos (Macropus giganteus) to be living in Hume. While their presence can be a source of joy for many residents, at times kangaroos can come into conflict with people, particularly when crossing roads. In extended periods of drought, kangaroos will often encroach on residential areas seeking food and water. During these times it is important to exercise caution if you encounter a kangaroo.

Staying Safe around Kangaroos

Tips to keep yourself safe if you encounter a kangaroo:
  • Do not walk directly towards a kangaroo
  • Do not stand up tall, stare or hold your arms out towards a kangaroo
  • Do not go near kangaroos engaged in courtship or mating behaviour – for example, males sniffing, touching or moving around with females
  • Do not go near male kangaroos that are sparring, fighting or showing off their size and strength to each other
  • Do not go near a kangaroo that is growling or clucking
  • Do not move between a female and her joey
  • Do not allow your dog to approach a kangaroo. Kangaroos will vigorously defend themselves against dogs, and this may draw you into a dangerous situation.

 

Driving Safely around Kangaroos

 Tips to keep yourself and our native wildlife safe on the road:

  • Slow down during the dusk and dawn periods when kangaroos are most active and feeding
  • Be alert while driving - keep an eye on road verges for any signs of kangaroos. If you see one kangaroo then there will likely be more nearby
  • Observe kangaroo warning signs in high activity areas and slow down
  • Never sound your horn when you see kangaroos grazing and dip your high beam lights to avoid startling the animals
  • If you find a kangaroo on a busy road that is causing a traffic hazard, call 000
  • If you come across a dead kangaroo that has been spray painted, this means that a wildlife rescuer has checked the pouch for joeys.
 
For further information, read the Wildlife Victoria Kangaroo Factsheet or read the Hume Living with Kangaroos Factsheet

 

Reporting Injured Wildlife

If you accidentally hit a kangaroo while driving or find an injured kangaroo, report it to Wildlife Victoria emergency service on 8400 7300. Never leave an injured animal without providing or obtaining some aid. Even if the kangaroo appears okay and moves away it will probably be injured and need assistance.
 
You can now download the Snap Send Solve app for iPhone and Android devices that allows you to submit images, precise geolocation and relevant notes about the animal and the situation to Wildlife Victoria in less than 30 seconds.
 
For further information, watch How to Help an Animal that’s been Hit by a Car.

 

Commonly Asked Questions

Who do I contact?

  • Council is not responsible for the management of kangaroos or any other wildlife in the municipality and is not resourced to provide a full wildlife rescue service.
  • To report injured, sick or orphaned wildlife, including kangaroos, call Wildlife Victoria on 8400 7300 or report directly through an online form. Wildlife carers are trained to help injured animals and to check for joeys.
  • The Injured Wildlife Tool developed by DELWP will help you locate and contact the closest relevant wildlife carers and rehabilitation organisations to help injured native wildlife in Victoria.
  • To report people harassing, harming or disturbing kangaroos call DELWP on 136 186 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
  • To report dogs chasing or harassing kangaroos call Council on 9205 2200 or DELWP on 136 186.
  • To report kangaroos in parks call Council on 9205 2200.
  • DELWP is creating a state-wide Kangaroo Management Plan. To find out more call DELWP on 136 186.

What should I do if there are kangaroos in my neighbourhood?

  • Try to avoid close encounters with kangaroos. Don’t try to touch, pat or feed a kangaroo.
  • If kangaroos have been seen in your street, use a torch or spotlight when moving around your garden at night. Scan the area to avoid accidentally approaching a kangaroo resting in your yard.
  • Do not attempt to deliberately scare a kangaroo from your yard. This may make the animal aggressive and attempt to protect itself by attacking you. This may also scare the animal onto a road and cause an accident.
  • Give the animals space, you may not like having a kangaroo in your yard but these are animals that are looking for food and water.
  • Remove reasons for kangaroos to visit your yard such as water sources. You can also spray plants with a browsing deterrent (product sprayed on plants to make them unpalatable for animals to eat).

How do I keep my pets safe when kangaroos are around?

  • Keep pet dogs on lead if kangaroos are present. Dogs have been badly injured when chasing kangaroos. Penalties can apply for having your dog off lead and for an attack on a kangaroo.

Why does it seem kangaroos are becoming an issue now?

  • The Eastern Grey Kangaroo prefers open habitats and is willing to live near people. It is often seen where human settlements adjoin bushland. Rural and semi-urban developed areas with their lawns, water sources and shady areas provide ideal living conditions for the eastern grey kangaroo.
  • Over summer, the parklands and rural pastures often dry out, so kangaroos will seek food sources closer to humans such as lawns and sports fields.
  • As urban areas encroach on kangaroo habitat, people are more regularly encountering them. This is common across the whole of eastern Australia, not just Hume City.

Why can't we just move them on?

  • Relocating kangaroos is difficult as they need to be sedated and evidence shows they may not stay in their new location but look to return to where they came from.
  • If they are trying to get back, there is an increased risk of crossing roads for kangaroos who are disorientated.

Is culling kangaroos an option?

  • As kangaroos are a protected species, it is illegal to cull them without a permit. Applications to cull kangaroos must be submitted to and approved by DELWP.
  • Culling kangaroos in urban areas also requires approval from Victoria Police to use high powered firearms in a populated area.

Is erecting fences an option?

  • Fencing is often not an option because kangaroos are widespread and fencing every reserve or park to contain kangaroos is not practical. Kangaroos can also jump over many types of fence.
  • In areas that have fenced kangaroos in, kangaroos have continued to breed and then slowly starved during dry times.

Why have we been building on land inhabited by kangaroos?

  • The State Government sets the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB), which is the edge of suburbia. The state government is also responsible for approving Precinct Structure Plans (PSPs) that enable urban development to occur within the boundary.
  • We will always be faced with an interface between suburbia and rural areas which will be where kangaroos and people will need to co-exist.
  • Council is working with the State Government and other stakeholders in the region to find ways to manage kangaroo populations within the UGB as this problem is not just in our municipality.
  • Recent PSPs approved by the State Government now require all residential developers to prepare Kangaroo Management Plans as part of any subdivision.

Updated : 3:04 PM, 24 July 2019

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