An Australian member of parliament has asked the government to take direct action in hopes of stopping dumb-ass tourists from getting wild kangaroos addicted to french fries, chips, and sugar. The Guardian reports that MP Greg Piper addressed the New South Wales parliament on the issue, citing a rash of kangaroo attacks that have occurred when visitors have attempted to feed “carrots and corn chips, and even McDonald’s takeaway” to adorable animals that can absolutely kick the shit out of you.
Piper noted that these fuzzy-wuzzy happy lil’ hoppers “have attacked visitors, in one case causing a very deep gash to a man’s stomach.” The adorable scamps can respond to those approaching by “kicking out, clawing faces and grappling with people, causing lacerations or significant scratching… Recently one attacked a man, who required 17 stitches in his face.”
Animal nutritionist Michelle Shaw of Sydney’s Taronga Zoo told The Guardian that the digestive system of the kangaroo is similar to that of a cow, meaning they graze and are not supposed to eat apples or handheld 2-for-1 apple pies. This is bad for the fluff-muffins, who can develop ulcers or inhibited digestive systems, as well as for humans, who can then be attacked by super-cute sugar-crazed wild beasts.
“Another problem is research has shown animals can become quite addicted to sugar,” she said. “They are going to seek it out regardless of whether it is going to be good for them or not, so they can become quite aggressive.”
It’s a particular problem at the grounds of Morisset Hospital, which travel websites have highlighted as a great place to see the bouncy snuggleballs. As a result, tourists have flocked to the active psychiatric hospital to feed the kangaroos, which have learned to expect the treats. “You can rustle a chip packet and they know what’s in there,” bus driver Shane Lewis told The Guardian. “That makes them aggressive.” Piper says humans have responded on occasion with vehicle and bow-and-arrow attacks, which is a deeply messed-up way to handle the fact that you’ve screwed with the bodies and minds of animals.
A campaign to warn tourists to leave the snack cakes at home appears to be the only option, as keeping visitors away from the spot seems likely to be a fool’s errand. As Piper put it, “that joey has left the pouch, so to speak.” If politics doesn’t work out for MP Piper, we think he’s got a real career in pun-making, and he can feel free to pitch The Takeout in the comments below.