Are Kangaroos Dangerous to Humans, Dogs, & Other Animals?

Disclaimer: The information presented below is for general informational & educational purposes only. Always consult with animal professionals in case of specific concerns.

Watching a mother kangaroo feeding while its joey fumbles around in her pouch is a special experience.

When wild animals seem this placid and caring, it can be tempting to get close to them, touch them and even feed them.

Today, people rarely live in close contact with large wildlife. As a result, we have lost much of our wariness and first-hand knowledge of these animals and how they live.

This means we can get too close to kangaroos without thinking about the consequences.

So, are kangaroos dangerous to humans and pets?

Let’s explore this topic in this short guide.

Are Kangaroos Dangerous?

Yes, they can be dangerous.

While kangaroos would normally mind their business, they are known to do the unthinkable when cornered or provoked.

Their hind legs are even more powerful and are known to deliver kicks hard enough to cause serious injuries or break bones.

On the hind legs are also long and sharp nails with which they can disembowel their opponent, be it a dog, another kangaroo, or another animal who crosses their boundary.

When encountered in the wild or wherever one is advised to exercise extreme caution.

Kangaroos view anyone who comes close, and that quickly, as a threat. They aggressively protect themselves when threatened.

To Humans

Yes, Kangaroos can be very dangerous to humans. Although Kangaroos don’t go about looking for humans to attack, incidents with humans can be fatal.

Therefore, you should exercise caution whenever you are in their vicinity.

It is never a good idea to approach kangaroos that are not accustomed to seeing humans (especially if you are standing because wild male kangaroos can assume you to be another kangaroo, and they can feel threatened).

Kangaroos can especially be dangerous to humans given these circumstances:

  • When you get too close to dominant males when pursuing a female or during mating, you could be seen as a threat.

As dominant males, kangaroos do feel the need to exert their dominance and protect their territory.

It is advisable to keep your distance from their line of sight because they can easily cover a long distance with incredible speed.

  • When female kangaroos breed their young ones (young kangaroos are also called joeys) in their pouches.

The mother can be defensive and can attack if they perceive you to be a threat to their joey, whether the joey is in or out of the mothers’ pouch.

  • When grazing

Kangaroos are generally placid grazing animals which means they care about the grasses more than they do about you.

If they are kangaroos common around you, they can be a threat to your crops and you might get injured while trying to get them out of your surroundings.

The most severe incidents that involve kangaroos and humans are road accidents.

Humans can get killed or injured after hitting a kangaroo or trying to avoid hitting a kangaroo.

To Dogs

kangaroos might be dangerous

Yes, kangaroos can be potentially dangerous to a dog. Although kangaroos don’t attack dogs, they are more likely to defend themselves from dogs.

As a defensive tactic, kangaroos often lead their predator (dog) into the water where they can stand while being submerged in the water.

If the attacker swims out to them, the kangaroo will attempt to use its claws and the weight of its body to drown the predator in the water.

A kangaroo experienced in conflict can inflict serious injuries if the situation is not arrested quickly.

In the wild, wolves and wild dogs hunt mammals (or animals with mammal characteristics), and this includes kangaroos.

The first defensive tactic would be to drown the predator, when there is no water nearby, a muscular kangaroo can defend itself with its limbs.

Their preferred means of defense is to grab the dog with their forelimbs and attack with extreme force and large claws on the end of their hind limbs.

A female kangaroo may flee from dogs in fear of losing its life.

There is also a possibility that kangaroos can get along with dogs but only if they are raised together.

That way, they can grow up understanding each other, not seeing each other as the hunter and the hunted.

Read more: Are Bull Terriers Dangerous?

Will Kangaroos Attack Humans?

Will Kangaroos Attack Humans

Kangaroos and other animals with pouches usually do not attack humans unless previously provoked or cornered. They are herbivores, so they don’t go looking for prey or eat their victims.

If you want to observe a kangaroo, do it from a safe distance. As long as you do not endanger them and keep your distance, a kangaroo doesn’t have any reason to attack.

People find kangaroos as friendly creatures, but if provoked, they can be quite offensive and dangerous.

Interestingly, kangaroos don’t just attack; they give a warning before they do. When a kangaroo stands up on its hind legs, it is a sign that it feels threatened, and one should back off, or they’ll get hurt.

Keep in mind that they cannot tell the difference between their fellow kangaroo and a human being.

They see anyone or anything in their personal space as a threat, and they will lash out aggressively.

Also, many kangaroos have taken a liking to human food, such as fries found in trash cans or on the streets.

So if they see a potential snack, they tend to be aggressive towards the person standing between them and their newfound meal.

This is why parks and tourist attraction centers close to kangaroo habitats have placed a ban on food.

Although some people claim otherwise, kangaroos are not carnivorous animals. They do not eat meat. Kangaroos are herbivorous mammals. They feed on plant material.

Kangaroos spend most of their time sleeping, eating, and mating. They live in groups called mobs. These groups typically consist of up to 50 individuals.

They are nocturnal animals. This means that they sleep during the day and wake at night.

During the summer months, these animals hibernate. When winter arrives, they emerge from their burrows and begin searching for food.

Kangaroos are omnivores. This means that they eat both plants and animals. They prefer fruits, nuts, tubers, and grains.

Can Kangaroos Be Friendly?

Yes! Kangaroos are one of the most friendly animals in the world.

They are also known for their ability to jump long distances, which makes them great pets. Kangaroos are known for being fierce animals, but they also have a reputation for being friendly.

Can kangaroos really be friendly? There are several species of kangaroo found around the world.

The red kangaroo is native to Australia, where it lives in grasslands and forests. They are herbivores and eat leaves and flowers.

They are social animals and live in groups called mobs. These mobs travel together in large herds.

When threatened or feeling vulnerable, they form tight balls of individuals. This behavior has earned them the name “kangaroo”.

Related: Do Wallabies Make Good Pets?

How To Protect Yourself From A Kangaroo?

One of the main ways kangaroos defend themselves is by using their powerful hind legs to hit whatever it feels threatened by.

The kangaroo will lift itself up on its tail, slightly lean back, and then hit its muscular legs against whatever it’s bothered by. Some kangaroos might also use their claws to try tearing their opponent’s eyes out.

This animal will also send warning signals to other kangaroos if they sense danger. Some ways they do this is by stomping their feet and hitting their tail on the ground.

The best defense against any threat is “don’t be there.” However, if someone were to meet an aggressive kangaroo, it is possible to make it out safely.

Some experts say the best chance to survive is to take a step back and keep a strong and calm demeanor. Try to imitate the kangaroo as closely as possible.

A thick, strong grunt noise may also scare it away. Male kangaroos use this strategy to demonstrate their dominance in the wild.

Is It Dangerous To Fight A Kangaroo?

Yes, it is dangerous, and stupid, to fight a kangaroo. If you’re standing up, the kangaroo can kick you with its hind feet and that can pretty much rip you open – That’s extremely dangerous.

If a kangaroo does attack, never stand tall and face the animal because it might be interpreted as a challenge to fight.

These blokes who think they’re macho and go and spar with a kangaroo … that’s the dumbest thing you can do.

How Strong Is A Kangaroo Kick?

This animal has an impressively powerful kick that has been known to kill people or break bones. It’s thought that kangaroos have a kick of 850 PSI.

Sometimes kangaroos will jump up to 30-feet in the air before they extend their hind legs to kick, giving them more power to their punch.

Their feet are extremely long and have a sharp claw in the center that can rip apart flesh.

In fact, their feet are so razor-sharp that they can cut through a human’s clothing and abdomen in a few seconds.

The combination of their kick and claws can be so powerful that it can rupture your stomach and surrounding organs.

It can be difficult to escape a kangaroo when they kick, but you can easily brace yourself for it.

By lifting your hands and turning your head away from the kangaroo, it can lessen the blow.

You’ll also want to stand away from the kangaroo’s kicking range but not run away from them as this will entice them even more.

What Do Kangaroos Hate?

An obvious way of controlling kangaroos is to install plants that are not attractive to them.

These might be prickly, strongly scented, or boast hairy or sticky leaves. Woody plants, too, do not seem to make up their diet, as they are difficult to eat.

Gum leaves are unpalatable to kangaroos in the garden and perform well in the regions roamed by these large marsupials.

Can Kangaroos Punch?

Yes, male kangaroos box and this is one way they work to quickly protect themselves or show their status.

Male kangaroos will box against each other by punching their front paws toward one another. They will do this while balancing themselves on their tails.

When boxing, the males will make noises and try swiping at each other’s heads and kicking each other in the stomach.

This fight will continue for hours until one of them falls to the ground, gives up, or dies.

They do this as a way to show dominance and to gain the attention of a future mate.

Sometimes young males will box for fun against each other and as a way to practice for when they get older.

Female kangaroos also box but this isn’t often and is usually over food or to gain access to a prime drinking spot.


Kangaroos are fascinating animals, but they can be very dangerous as well. Because of this, it’s best to keep your distance from them, especially if they are in the wild.