Things are not going well, y’all. There are some very scary and deadly fires raging in California, there are hundreds of families that still haven’t been reunited, and people in this country can’t afford basic necessities despite Donald Trump’s claims that the economy is better than ever.
So it’s almost a relief to open a news site and read the headline “Mobs of kangaroos take to streets of Australia's capital over food shortages,” as CNN informed its audience Monday morning. Sure, it’s definitely a problem, but kangaroos don’t tend to kill people, or separate families, or tweet. (They definitely do maul people though, so be careful).
The marsupials are appearing in mobs (yes, that is the scientific term) to take over local sports fields, roads, and backyards looking for food in the Australian capital of Canberra. This is troubling because apparently “kangaroos are at risk of dying on the roads as their feeding times coincide with rush hour.”
Forget about the scorching heat and recall a basic middle school geography lesson: It’s winter over in Australia, and it’s not been a good season for the kangaroos. "Canberra is experiencing a perfect storm of hardship for its kangaroos. New records have been set in Canberra for very cold, frosty nights this winter. This, coupled with very dry conditions with very little rain at all in June and July, means there is very little food for kangaroos, " Parks and Conservation service director Daniel Iglesias told CNN.
These conditions put both the kangaroos and local motorists at risk. "The short winter days means people are commuting to work at dawn and home at dusk, bringing motorists and kangaroos together in a potentially deadly way for kangaroos," Iglesias said. "Wildlife rangers are reporting record numbers of roadkill with Canberra on target to record its highest ever tally of 'roos reported killed by collisions with cars."
It’s almost easy to feel bad for these animals, but unfortunately these kangaroos also are being characterized like a bad bunch of pesky teenagers you want to avoid on your way home, lest you get mugged or harassed.
These mobs are headed by a “dominant” male, and while in Canberra there are still more humans that kangaroos, there almost twice as many kangaroos as humans in all of Australia. That’s a lot of freaking kangaroos.
"Get to know where your local mob hangs out and avoid them, or slow down, especially during peak movement periods of dusk and dawn," Iglesias said.
You heard the man. If you’re in Australia, avoid the mobs! If you’re stateside, well, that’s probably still pretty good advice.