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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 July, 2004, 15:06 GMT 16:06 UK
Australia on angry kangaroo alert
A kangaroo is said to have drowned a dog in a Canberra park
Residents in Australia's capital city have been warned to beware starving kangaroos after a spate of attacks.

The desperate marsupials have been attacking people and other animals as drought conditions drive them to seek food in the Canberra suburbs.

Wildlife authorities said the normally harmless, grass-eating animals were grazing on fields or golf courses.

Officials said a woman and her dog had recently been attacked, and two dogs hurt in a separate incident.

Government wildlife ecologist Murray Evans told The Associated Press: "Kangaroos don't come bounding out of the bush looking for people to attack.

"It's usually kangaroos minding their own business and people thinking they're cute and cuddly and getting too close."

But in a recent letter to the Canberra Times, dog owner Christine Canham said her pet had been drowned by a kangaroo in a city park.

The dogs had been swimming when a large kangaroo appeared on the bank and entered the water, she said.

The kangaroo "held her under the water with its back legs and drowned her as we watched helpless," Ms Canham wrote.

Kangaroos can weigh up to 80 kilograms (176 pounds) and grow as tall as an average man.

Experts say they rarely attack humans, but because of the shortage of food could be more likely to stand their ground if confronted.

Australia takes aim at kangaroos
21 May 02 |  Asia-Pacific

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