Don't cuddle the roos, tourists warned

Kangaroos can be unpredictable. Photo: Getty Images
Kangaroos can be unpredictable. Photo: Getty Images

Tourists have been attacked by kangaroos in the grounds of a New South Wales hospital, with one man receiving a deep gash to his stomach and another requiring 17 stitches to his face, a state MP has told parliament.

Lake Macquarie MP Greg Piper says hundreds of international tourists are daily catching the train from Sydney and then walking four kilometres to see the "wild kangaroos" which graze within the grounds of Morisset Hospital.

"There have been a number of reported incidents in which kangaroos have attacked visitors, in one case causing a very deep gash to a man's stomach," the independent MP told the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday night.

"In most cases they have been kicking out, clawing faces and grappling with people, causing lacerations or significant scratching."

Mr Piper said the tourism genie was out of the bottle with the "day trip" now being advertised on major tourism websites.

He wants "appropriate signage" - in five or six languages - installed, instructing visitors not to feed the animals and warning that kangaroos can cause injury.

National Parks and Wildlife Service rangers could also patrol the grounds of the mental health facility, he suggested, as part of a coordinated response along with NSW Health and potentially Lake Macquarie City Council.

Mr Piper said despite the fact that feeding kangaroos was illegal, tourists were giving the marsupials corn chips and other processed foods, as well as apples, bananas and carrots.

The independent MP on Wednesday delivered an even simpler message on Sydney radio.

"Don't cuddle the big males - they don't like it and fight back," he told 2GB.

"There's a high risk that someone's going to be severely injured."
 

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