CARROT-ADDICTED KANGAROOS HOPPING MAD AT TOURIST
Kangaroos are one of Australia’s biggest tourist draws, but visitors to one park are getting more than they bargained for. Tourists in Lake Macquarie, a two-hour train ride from Sydney, are ignoring warnings and feeding carrots to kangaroos who become aggressive at the sight of their favourite sugary snack, a tour operator said. Each week thousands of people lock to see the kangaroos on grassy slopes enticed by travel blogs promising “adorable wild kangaroos” that are “tame enough to get close to and take photos with.” Carrots in hand, the tourists approach the kangaroos. It doesn’t always end well. A photo posted by a tour operator on Facebook showed a kangaroo leaping up to kick a tourist with its powerful legs. Other photos showed a woman with a scratched face and a man with a bloody gouge in his stomach.
Michelle Shaw, a nutritionist at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo, said the kangaroos had likely become addicted to the carrots, a high-sugar food that is bad for the marsupials. A kangaroo’s natural diet is mostly grass, so the sugar in carrots can make it hard to effectively absorb nutrients.