Aussie man, 59, brawls with kangaroo for 6 minutes after it tried to attack his dogs

"I thought, well, this thing means business. It's going to mongrel me real good so I took it to the ground. It's the only way I could deal with it," said Cliff Des.

Andrew Koay | May 31, 2022, 06:14 PM

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A 59-year-old man has grabbed headlines after footage of him in a six-minute fight with a kangaroo emerged.

Victorian resident Cliff Des appeared on the Australian morning show "Today" to recall his backyard encounter with the "six-foot buck 'roo in a bad mood", describing how the scrap had left him with a few bruises and some scars.

"It's going to mongrel me real good"

Des — who looks like a no-nonsense man, tough as nails — said that he'd heard his dogs barking and gone to investigate, only to find the kangaroo "trying to rip my little dogs out of the yard".

"I sort of went around the side near it — about 30 feet from it — and shoo'ed it away. But it didn't want to shoo away, it just put its claws up, stood on its back feet and started chasing me."

A video of the incident showed Des stumbling over with the marsupial in hot pursuit.

Image from Nine News Sydney's Twitter account

The 59-year-old rises from the ground with a stick in hand while the aggressive kangaroo squares up to him.

"After three whacks with the stick, (the stick) snapped like a carrot," he said.

Image from Nine News Sydney's Twitter account

"And then I thought, well, this thing means business. It's going to mongrel me real good so I took it to the ground. It's the only way I could deal with it."

Translation: This man is a badass.

The video showed Des wrestling with the kangaroo before executing a takedown and pinning his downed opponent.

Image from Nine News Sydney's Twitter account

He told "Today" that even then, the kangaroo refused to submit.

"It tried to gouge my face. I put my head down so it gouged me on the top of my head," he said.

"It bit my finger. Then it put its back claw through my leg, about an inch-and-a-half through my back leg, shredded my pants down to the cuff."

Image from Today's YouTube channel

Image from Today's YouTube channel

After about five minutes of tussling with the animal on the ground, Des composed himself and formulated a plan to escape.

He then tried to run away again and the kangaroo chased him around his car.

In total, the ordeal lasted six minutes and 22 seconds.

"He was in a nasty mood, I don't know what was wrong with it," mused Des.

"I'm that good looking he might have mistaken me as one of his girls," he added while bantering with "Today's" hosts Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon.

"Beautiful creature"

Despite his run-in with the marsupial, Des said he still considered kangaroos "a beautiful creature".

"They're an Australian icon, what I can take from the whole scenario is just don't go near them. They can snap. We don't know how they think. They don't know how we think."

Des further pointed out that while many in Australia complain about kangaroos as a safety hazard — where he lives in Heathcote, Victoria is considered the wildlife collision capital of Australia, according to Nine News — it was actually humans who had encroached on the animal's territory.

"Everyone has a go at them and says they're rear on the roads and we're hitting them with our cars but when you analyse it, we built our roads over theirs."

What to do when you face a 'roo

So what should you do if you find yourself in Australia, face-to-face with a kangaroo?

According to the New South Wales' Office of Environment and Heritage, you should

  • Avoid walking 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
  • 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

Top image from Today's YouTube Channel