MELBOURNE (Reuters) - A distressed kangaroo leapt over a 2.2 metre (7.2 feet) wall at a shelter on Tuesday and escaped into a forest after having been rescued from a home he had crashed into in the southern Australian city of Melbourne two days earlier.
The rescuers had named the kangaroo Norman Bates, after the killer in the Alfred Hitchcock thriller “Psycho”, when they pulled him from a home on Sunday where he had smashed through a window and spattered blood all over the walls.
“There was just blood everywhere. It looked like a scene right out of ‘Psycho’,” said Manfred Zabinskas, who runs the Five Freedoms Animal Rescue shelter and was called in by police to retrieve the runaway roo.
Norman was put in a large, state-of-the-art enclosure with other kangaroos but was clearly highly strung and by day two was looking for a way out.
“We’ve not seen a kangaroo so desperate to get out as Norman. He didn’t even touch the top rail at two meters. He jumped pretty bloody high,” Zabinskas said.
The kangaroo probably lived in the open fields near the housing estate where he was found on the edge of an industrial area on the outskirts of Melbourne, and had gotten lost and panicked when he crashed into the home on Sunday.
“At least he is now in a vast expanse of forest, safe from cars, trucks and people,” Helen Round, a volunteer at Five Freedoms, said in a post on social media.
Australia has roughly 45 million kangaroos and it is not rare for them to be seen in backyards in cities such as the capital, Canberra, that are surrounded by bushland.
In drought-stricken areas they are even more likely to be driven into populated areas in search of food and water.
A large eastern grey kangaroo halted play at a soccer match in Canberra last month after hopping on the pitch and lying down in the goal mouth.
In the southern state of Victoria, where drought is less of an issue, kangaroos are coming into conflict with people as housing has expanded rapidly to areas where the marsupials live.
“When they ultimately get landlocked between developments, the government’s only management is to shoot the kangaroos to get rid of the problem,” Zabinskas said.
Reporting by Sonali Paul