Australian police pepper spray angry kangaroo

SYDNEY Tue Jul 26, 2011 7:31am BST

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SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - Australia police used pepper spray to overpower an aggressive kangaroo after it attacked a 94-year-old woman as she tended to the laundry in her backyard.

Kangaroos rarely stray into urbanized areas, and Police Sergeant Stephen Perkins said on Tuesday two officers were sent to assist the woman, who was attacked by a "Big Red" in the town of Charleville in southwest Queensland earlier this week.

"Upon alighting from the car the kangaroo approached one of the officers, the kangaroo was aggressive and the officer had to deploy his capsicum spray to subdue the animal," Perkins told Reuters.

The kangaroo initially retreated but spotted the second police officer and bounded toward him, and was sprayed a second time.

Perkins said it was common to use pepper spray to subdue aggressive dogs but unusual to be used on an angry kangaroo.

"Big Red" kangaroos are one of Australia's largest kangaroo species and males can weigh more than 80 kgs (176 pounds) and stand more than 1.5 meters (4.92 feet) tall.

The kangaroo's victim, Phyllis Johnson, suffered bruises and cuts and was recovering in hospital, local media reported on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Amy Pyett, editing by Miral Fahmy)

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