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For boxing day - don't mess with we macropods - Stephan [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Stephan

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For boxing day - don't mess with we macropods [Dec. 26th, 2011|09:16 am]
Stephan
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KB_CYobIlEg
(The owner has disabled embedding, though goodness knows why - it ought to be freely shared)


Having performed volunteer work at a native animal sanctuary I've witnessed firsthand what an adult male red kangaroo looks like up close. Thankfully the worst that has happened to me were no more than a few scratches, but one of the other volunteers described how she had been grabbed and dragged by an adult male.

Male kangaroos are pre-programed by eons of instinct to develop combative skills from a very young age. When they reach the equivalent of human teenage they tussle with their male friends. It's only playing at this stage, but as they reach full-fledged adulthood the combat becomes very serious as they try to work their way up the hierarchy with determination of becoming the alpha male; the only male allowed to copulate with the females. You can just imagine how strong *THAT* instinct is.

The body of a kangaroo is built on a twofold purpose: speed and agility. They're a nomadic species, covering great distances as they move from one location to another each day. That same body is also very efficient for fighting, but God gave them an added advantage in the form of strong, sharp toenails and claws, combined with a tough belly that is designed to endure the impact to an extent. Something humans *don't* have.

All of this probably goes for wallabies and wallaroos, but I'm much less familiar with them than with the larger members of the macropod family. I keep warning my mother to stay away from the male rednecked wallabies that visit her homestead.

Trying to domesticate wild animals *is* cruel. They can't comprehend what is happening to them, and they don't adapt well once removed from their native environment. Even when they're attended to one-on-one by human handlers they still become injured or ill very easily. In spite of all that strength their bones are quite fragile due to the lack of calcium in Australian soils (remember the old phosphate mine Batty and I toured? Phosphate is in high demand in Australia).

This is an open post. I'm hopeful, though not very confident, of educating people who still believe that kangaroos can be factory farmed. Particularly if it's their pet hate that a "resource" be wasted and that they assume it can be done because they solve problems in mining engineering. Trying to factory farm kangaroos would be impossible, and at the very least it would be inhumane.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: deckardcanine
2011-12-26 04:38 am (UTC)
Looks like Willard missed Tony's groin, thankfully. He should've been wearing the equivalent of boxing gloves on his feet, and I'd wear some kind of armor at all times near a roo of any age or sex.

I've read that kangaroos are intelligent for native Australian fauna, but not so much globally. Of course, a lot of reputedly intelligent creatures frequently do things I'd regard as foolish. My point is, it's a shame that Willard regarded Tony as a reproductive threat, or at least did not override the instinct meant for real threats.

All domestic animals descended from wild animals. Do you wish there were no domestication at all?
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[User Picture]From: thefoxaroo
2011-12-26 05:05 am (UTC)
>Looks like Willard missed Tony's groin, thankfully. He should've been wearing the equivalent of boxing gloves on his feet

Yes Willard should definitely have had some sort of padding on his feet.

>I'd wear some kind of armor at all times near a roo of any age or sex.

I always tried to wear heavy clothing when I was in the enclosure with the adult animals. Couldn't do so in summer, so I'd take on other duties then.

>My point is, it's a shame that Willard regarded Tony as a reproductive threat, or at least did not override the instinct meant for real threats.

Willard would simply have reached the age where he figured that he could make a better alpha male than Tony. It's also possible that he didn't recognise Irene as female.

Young joeys are harmless (though be careful you don't mistake an adult wallaby for a kangaroo joey) and I've never heard of harm coming from a female kangaroo although there's always a first. The normal procedure for females when there's a threat is to hide their joey and lead the attackers away. If a female were cornered she'd probably attack out of desperation.

>I've read that kangaroos are intelligent for native Australian fauna, but not so much globally.

I'd like to know who wrote that. Most laymen regard them as unintelligent, but I've seen evidence to the contrary when one of the young joeys hugged a carer when told "give me a hug." I've also studied how they learn by imitation, the same as primates.

>All domestic animals descended from wild animals. Do you wish there were no domestication at all?

Well let's see. I don't eat meat, and I avoid leather products (my shoes are synthetic). That eliminates most of the livestock animals. However I do eat some cheese, and I guess wool is ok.

The most common domestic animals, dogs and cats, have been domesticated over a period of more than two thousand years. Largely because humans and these animals were able to live in the same communities (Eg: Cats in Ancient Egypt were used to keep rodents out of the grain). These days people don't try to live *with* the animals, but abduct them right out of their safe environment.
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