Canberra: Kangaroo attacks politician

May 16: An Australian politician taking his morning jog through the capital has been attacked by a kangaroo.

Shane Rattenbury, a minister in the Australian Capital Territory government that administers Canberra, said he was jogging along the pavement in suburban Ainslie when he almost collided with an eastern grey kangaroo that had been 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.”

Rattenbury said the 1.4-metre (4ft 7in) marsupial knocked him to ground, with the claws drawing blood from two deep scratches on his left leg. His right leg was bruised from the impact of the fall.

The minister was driven home by a passerby who spotted him lying injured on the roadside. He was taken to hospital, where his wounds were cleaned and he received a tetanus jab.

“The nurse who treated me had treated someone before who had been scratched by a kangaroo and ended up with a very bad infection,” Rattenbury said. “So she was quite keen to give [the wound] a good clean-out.”

When the minister limped into the ACT parliament a few hours after his ordeal he was bemused that many colleagues seemed more concerned about the kangaroo’s welfare. “I can assure people that the kangaroo is fine,” he said. “It was last seen hopping off into the distance quite comfortably.”

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