Hopping mad: Oz minister loses fight with kangaroo

2013-05-18 00:00

CANBERRA — An Australian politician taking his morning jog through the national capital came out second best on Thursday after crossing a kangaroo.

Shane Rattenbury, a minister in the Australian Capital Territory government, which administers the city of Canberra, said he was running on a sidewalk in inner-suburban Ainslie and was only seconds away from a collision before he saw the eastern grey kangaroo at the end of a hedge, grazing on a front lawn.

“We both got a nasty fright, and of course when kangaroos are startled, they lash out,” the 41-year-old said.

“As the kangaroo sought to escape, it landed on me, and its claws dug into my leg,” he added.

Rattenbury said the 1,4-metre kangaroo knocked him to the concrete sidewalk, the claws of its powerful hind legs drawing blood with two scratches to his left leg. His right leg was painfully bruised by the sidewalk. His mother heard of her son’s plight on a radio news bulletin and took him to a hospital, where a nurse cleaned his wounds and gave him a tetanus shot.

Rattenbury limped into the ACT parliament a few minutes before Thursday’s session began and more than three hours after his painful brush with nature. He was bemused that many people seemed more concerned about the kangaroo’s welfare than his.

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