Tradition roo-ined: Kangaroos stopped from eating at local pub

Kangaroos at a Western Australian park have been denied the opportunity to eat out at their local pub, bringing a 17-year tradition to an end.

More than 1200 people have signed a petition protesting against a government decision to ban the John Forrest Tavern from feeding kangaroos hanging around at the pub.

Owners of the tavern, located inside John Forrest National Park, were told by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) that staff were no longer allowed to feed the dozens of kangaroos that hang around, something they have been doing for decades.

Manager of the family business, Megan Braid, told Yahoo7 they're incredibly upset about the decision.

"They [the kangaroos] become like your babies - we've been doing this for over 17 years," she said. "They're like your pets. I know they're wild animals but you do come to get to know them as individuals."

This photo shows 'Manky' - the oldest kangaroo that hangs around the tavern. Source: Supplied / Megan Braid
The tavern staff have been told they can no longer feed the kangaroos. Source: Supplied / Megan Braid

Ms Braid says the family were told in November last year that they are no longer allowed to feed the kangaroos the vet recommended muesli they had been feeding them, because the department wants them back in their natural habitat.

Manky, one of the oldest "residents", was photographed hanging inside the tavern with the image later going viral.

Ms Braid said people have only just heard that they're no longer allowed to feed the kangaroos, and she has since had them wanting to help fix the situation.

"It's really gained momentum since people have found out and now we have a petition circulating," she said.

"We don't want to change world, we just want to keep our little world the same as it always has been. There's no where else you can go where you have kangaroos eating lunch right next to you."

Kangaroos often wander into the bar. Source: Supplied / Megan Braid

Ms Braid stressed that the feed given to the roos was simply a supplement and not enough sustenance to get them through the day.

She said locals love having the wildlife so close to them.

Locals love eating with the kangaroos. Source: Supplied / Megan Braid

A DBCA spokesperson told Yahoo7 it's imperative wildlife remain in their own habitat.

"The key to successful interaction with wildlife is to respect their wild nature," the spokesperson said.

"Feeding native wildlife is discouraged because it can have a negative impact on animal health. Department staff are currently working through a staged process of reducing supplementary feeding to encourage the animals to forage more naturally."

Ms Braid added that from what she knows, the feeding of the roos was happening long before they bought the business 19 years ago.

Anyone caught feeding the kangaroos by the department could face a $2000 fine.

You can sign the petition here.