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What Australians Really Think Of Their Kangaroos

We’re tourists. We like Kangaroos. Too bad nobody else does.

KIOLOA, Australia- Positioning the kangaroo as some kind of mascot for Australia is like using the giant sewer rat as something to represent New York City.

In Australia, kangaroos are giant hopping varmint that shit all over the place, transport ticks, eat all the grass, and get hit by cars.

National symbol be damned. From what I can tell, the people here can’t stand these animals — at least those who live where they regularly roam.

“I hate em,” one guy told me who ran a convenient store in Kioloa told me.

“We just wish we could get rid of them,” another lady there said.

Before coming to Australia, I wasn’t aware of how closely Kangaroos live to people here. Entire herds of them storm through towns, going where they want and doing what they please. Few animals can claim more dominance over human settlements than kangaroos.

They come in and take over.

And there is nothing that anybody can do about it other than just wait for them to finish up whatever they’re doing and hop away.

“Sometimes a bunch of them block me in my house and I have to go out and throw my shoes at them,” a local lady told me. “But it doesn’t do any good,” she admitted. “They don’t move.”

“Does anyone around here eat or make leather out if them?” I asked.

“They do in the central parts of the country but we here haven’t gotten us used to how they taste yet. I just wish we could get rid of them all.”

But for me and my family, these kangaroos have been one of the main highlights of this Australia jaunt so far. We are not yet used to seeing them free in the wild, and we are pretty intrigued by the fact that we can walk real close up to them and watch what they do. My wife especially likes the joeys in the pouches. This is a new experience for us, and such new experiences are one of the driving forces behind moving over the world … and we are sure to leave before we get sick of them. Ah, travel.

Filed under: Animals, Australia, Travel Diary

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 90 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3548 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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