The Queensland government has delivered a stark warning to residents and visitors after a tourist’s bad behaviour on the Gold Coast was caught on camera.
“Kangaroos are wild animals, they can behave unpredictably and should not be approached,” a spokesperson for the Department of Environment and Science told Yahoo News Australia after a video of a tourist chasing a kangaroo in Coombabah Lake Conservation Park on Sunday was posted online.
In the 23-second clip, a man in a grey shirt and holding a camera can be seen walking across the grass in front of a dense forest, before a kangaroo bounds across in front of him. Two seconds later, a man in a white T-shirt is filmed running after the animal.
The person filming the incident — who assumed they were tourists based on their language and "demeanour" — tracks the pair before eventually the man gives up the short chase and jogs back the way he came towards two young women who he then walks off with.
“Kangaroos are one of my favourite wild animals to see, so naturally I was annoyed by the guests disturbing them by being chased,” the witness told Yahoo News Australia. “I disapprove of this kind of behaviour because it will cause these wild animals to become defensive and potentially see humans as a threat.”
Group filmed chasing kangaroos and laughing
In sharing the video online with the caption “Roos being chased by tourists”, the Reddit poster explained what happened.
“Basically it all started with the photographer in grey chasing a wild kangaroo for about 20 seconds and laughing and taking pictures while all the other visitors watched on,” they said. “Not a minute after this (monkey see, monkey do), another guy begins chasing a different roo across the field while their friends laugh and take pictures of him,” they said.
The person went on to convey their disappointment over the incident.
“I like to visit because it’s the closest place to me to see wild kangaroos, but I’m coming across more of these unruly tourists feeding, chasing and disturbing the wildlife,” they explained. The poster also pointed out that there are signs at the entrance “that clearly state not to disturb wildlife and to be a certain distance from them”.
The video prompted several comments discussing the severity of the bad behaviour. One person argued that “roos are very capable of dealing with d***head tourists if they’re feeling threatened in any way”. Others suggested the kangaroos may have enjoyed the interaction.
Yet others suggested such behaviour was the reason why kangaroos can be aggressive and would lead to attacks on humans.
‘Treat kangaroos with caution’
In a statement to Yahoo News Australia, the Department of Environment and Science urged people to keep their distance from kangaroos and “treat them with caution”.
“Don’t feed wildlife,” a spokesperson also added. “It can cause the animals to become dependent on humans and increase the chances of aggressive behaviour.”
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