1. Evan Switzer was out for his usual walk on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast on Monday when he stumbled across this heartbreaking scene: a male kangaroo and a young joey standing by a dead female.
Switzer, 49, was walking his dog on a large property in the town of River Heads when he saw the adult male acting aggressively, chasing away other kangaroos. Switzer says he was walking past the scene when he heard a thump, and saw the male attempting to pick up the female.
“The male was standing over the female. He was trying to pick the female up. I sat there for a bit and thought this was pretty amazing,” he said.
3. “It was like something you see in the movies. Where someone stands over a body and says ‘no, no. Please don’t die’. It was something amazing to watch. I’ve never seen it in wildlife before,” he said.
Switzer, a keen amateur photographer, quickly ducked home to grab his camera, and returned to observe the heartbreaking scene.
5. “I stayed around for quite a while. The three of them were there - the dead female, the male and the joey - other kangaroos came bouncing up to have a squizz, but the male chased them away.”
Switzer watched as the male lay down beside the female and tried to nudge her awake, occasionally trying to pick her up by the neck.
It’s likely that the young joey is the female’s offspring and was concerned for its mother’s wellbeing, as well as its own, given the mother is a joey’s source of food and protection, but it’s extremely unusual for a male adult to display mourning behaviours like the ones observed by Switzer.
Anyone who comes across injured wildlife needing assistance should contact WIRES on 1300 094 737.
Animal experts have refuted claims that the kangaroo is in mourning, suggesting he is probably hot and horny instead. Everyone grieves differently.