Up Close and Personal with Kangaroos

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Living in Australia means having the opportunity to meet its national symbol at one point or another. For us, that point of time was last week, where we had the chance to meet and touch the kangaroos in their natural habitat. Of all the places to see these marsupials, who would have thought that one would find them on the grounds of a mental hospital? It’s true, we saw with our very own eyes at least a hundred of these kangaroos roaming freely around the Morisset Psychiatric Hospital, about 100km north of Sydney. And we wouldn’t have known it if not for one of the fellow Malaysians we met during the pot luck session.

Morisset

One of the many kangaroos

Morisset

Morisset Park facing the beautiful Lake Macquarie

We reached there some time after 4pm and saw many kangaroos jumping around us, almost oblivious to the presence of humans. Well, oblivious at least, until they saw pieces of bread being offered. At the sight of food, these kangaroos came charging towards us, almost too quickly, but did not cause us any harm. In fact, they would stop right next to us waiting for food to be served, and jump away when there was none after a while. It was quite an amusing sight to watch.

Morisset

Some of the kangaroos roaming around the grounds 

Morisset

Feeding them bread

Morisset

“Do you have food for me?”

Morisset

“Don’t bite me”

Morisset

Walking past the kangaroos

I was not one of the brave ones to feed them, even though it didn’t seem to be harmful. :P I preferred to be standing at a distance and observing their behavior while capturing some candid shots. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have caught the shot of a kangaroo getting really close to one of our friend’s butt. Or another shot of a kangaroo standing tall and looking as if it was asking for food from one of our friends. :)

Morisset

Actively jumping

Morisset

*sniff*

Morisset

 Enjoying its bread

Morisset

“More bread please?”

Even though this was not the first time I saw kangaroos, it was indeed the first time that I was so close to them. And we were lucky to spot one of the kangaroos with a joey in its pouch. Super cute! If you don’t mind the hour-plus journey up north, the Morisset Park is indeed a nice place to visit. Surrounding the Lake Macquarie, it is a perfect fishing and picnic location too!

Morisset

Spot the joey!

NOTE: It has been brought to my attention that bread is harmful to kangaroos as they contain yeast that will ferment in their stomachs, causing digestive problems if fed in large quantities. Obviously we were not aware of this or we would not have knowingly fed something that would harm the kangaroos. To anyone else who visits them in the future, do refrain from feeding them at all.

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  • 06.20.12
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19 Comments
  • June 20th, 2012 4:11 PM
    Sean

    ‘super cute’ is what i’d have said too! :D i’ve hand-fed a kangaroo (or maybe it was a wallaby), and it was a pretty greedy kangaroo (or maybe just hungry). pretty ticklish as it ate from my hand :D

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  • June 20th, 2012 3:04 PM
    Ken Wooi

    Interesting, I used to think that Kangaroos may be harmful as it “tears down” villages and towns. Too much documentaries I suppose. :P

    But it’s nice to see Kangaroos, tame ones. :)

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    iamthewitch Reply:

    Well I guess there are some kangaroos that live in the wild that could be dangerous still..

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    romulus16 Reply:

    Usually it is the male bucks you have to be worried about but the females will mostly just avoid you, the Morisset Hospital Kangaroo’s are just used to humans so a bit different from the normal wild ones :P

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  • June 20th, 2012 5:42 PM
    Kenneth

    Yeah, I like the photos of the kangaroo sniffing your friend’s butt. Hopefully your friend didn’t fart the kangaroo’s face.

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    iamthewitch Reply:

    LOL! I hope so too :P

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  • June 21st, 2012 3:06 AM
    Tekkaus

    So funny. *sniff*. LOL :D

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  • June 21st, 2012 3:08 AM
    Tekkaus

    I have watched some videos on how Kangaroos attacked human. :p

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    iamthewitch Reply:

    Yea some kangaroos are quite dangerous, that’s why we observed them from far first to see whether they’re harmful before getting near to them :)

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  • June 21st, 2012 2:45 PM
    suituapui

    Get Saucer to do some boxing with one of them… LOL!!! Eeeee…Joey’s in the pouch! So cute!

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  • December 27th, 2013 3:41 PM
    Sophie

    Hey….
    Just wanted to have an input to all this… I am a local who lives on the Peninsular…and was very curious at all the people we have been seeing walking the streets making their way to the Hospital, both the front entrance to the hospital and the back entrance…me and many other locals are amazed at how you guys walk all that way from the Station and in the heat to see them. I must admit I never get sick of seeing them, and occasionally will take the back way home just to see what our fury locals are up to. ( but of course I am in my car )
    Please don’t be fooled into thinking these Roo’s are really tame… for most of the time they are, however when the big males are around… one should be very cautious… and avoid feeding them… especially in the breeding season…..anyway, I understand it is a novelty for Sydney siders… but as a local I can assure you, they are still just wild animals and used be treated as such. :-)

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    iamthewitch Reply:

    Hi Sophie,
    Thank you so much for your input. I’m sure any advice from a local is much appreciated by fellow Sydney siders who are just amused to see the roos in the wild. I’ll make sure to be extra cautious the next time we visit! :)

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  • January 9th, 2014 7:23 PM
    Jacquie York

    I am absolutely disgusted that you would be so irresponsible as to actually print that you fed the Kangaroos bread. Bread is made with yeast – yeast is NOT found in the wild. Yeast eaten by kangaroos can cause yeast infections causing blindness and in some cases death. To publicly admit that you visited my workplace and then happily poisoned the indigenous wildlife while taking photo’s of your criminal acts and then published those pictures, ignorantly encouraging others to do the same thing is horrifying. Every day I work with these poor animals, that are the victims of people like you, devastated that it is too late to help them. Next time you decide to feed some wildlife have the decency to find out the correct food for them. Further, if it was not your intent to deliberately poison these beautiful creatures, then use your site to apologize and tell people what they should feed them….NO BREAD!!!

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    romulus16 Reply:

    http://www.marsupialsociety.org/FAQ's.html

    If it’s your work then do something about it rather than winging online. Last time I checked you had security guards down there, or how about putting up signs so the couple other hundred people that go there weekly know better. I am absolutely disgusted that you would attack someone who did not know any better especially when your work does not educate the tourists any better on the issue or even attempt to regulate it.

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    Jacquie York Reply:

    The security guards only work nights on the grounds. It is a locked site at that time. There are notices not to feed the kangaroos, in the public area of the national park next door. The private area of the hospital is invaded by over 300 backpackers a day during the summer and the hospital does not have the staff available to police the grounds during the day, we are busy looking after the clients. The Papers and local media have ALL advertised the problems with backpackers and other site-seeing visitors continuing to feed bread to the wildlife, but these visitors DON’T CARE. I have personally confronted hundreds over the years, they all say sorry and then drive to a different part of the hospital before doing it all over again.
    If you think that this is the only site that a comment has been left at, think again.
    If individuals that publish photo’s and commentary on feeding poison to our indigenous wildlife don’t get a backlash it will continue the cycle.
    They clearly don’t follow the stories in the media, or the VERY CLEAR directions on site not to feed the animals.
    These are wild animals and I have seen people take their toddlers up to them. Is it going to take the maiming or death of a child before people realize that it’s not only harmful to the animal it’s also DANGEROUS.

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    Kris Reply:

    I am also a local. And am in disbelief as to the large groups of tourists who sit on Morisset Park Rd waiting for their lift while we are all trying to pick our kids up from school. One day someone will get run over.

    But that’s besides the point….

    If you must visit the Hospital (and yes it is still a functioning hospital) then please DO NOT FEED THE KANGAROOS. Bread makes them extremely ill.

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    iamthewitch Reply:

    Hi Jacquie,
    First of all, thank you for dropping a comment on my blog and for enlightening me about the danger of feeding bread to the roos. As you can tell, I certainly had no idea that this was harmful to them. I have since updated the post above to ensure more people are aware of this and to protect the roos. Sorry if this post has upset you!

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    Jacquie York Reply:

    Thank you for your words. While I don not support the feeding of wildlife I can offer some advice: Never allow children close, if you insist on taking the chance to feed wild animals always check first, either online or by calling a local zoo, as to what food is safe to feed them – as a rule of thumb, if its found in nature in their environment, it’s probably safe, and finally fresh fruit, like grapes, is a viable option.

    Jacquie York

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  • January 28th, 2014 10:25 PM
    deb

    Do you have any idea how bad it is to feed a kangaroo bread, the yeast etc contained in it is very bad for the health, why not google what is better to feed them

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