Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Trouble Down Under

Ok, I guess the type of danger one confronts while running depends on where you live. New York, it's traffic. Alaska, it's wolves. Australia? Apparently kangaroos.

I always wondered whether Australia’s  "Boxing Kangaroo" mascot was for real or whether it was a bit of hyperbolic anthropomorphism. At least one unlucky runner from down under, 25 year-old David Striegl (pic at left), found out first-hand. Striegl was out running when he was attacked by a rogue kangaroo last Thursday. During his run he was knocked cold after the 'roo sucker-punched him in the face. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he remembers little about the unprovoked attack.

Striegl, who works in a corporate real estate office, was found by a passing motorist who took the dazed and bloody victim to a hospital.  His only injury seemed to be some cuts and bruises, a black eye and a wounded ego. The latter no doubt due to his colleagues at work making fun of his misfortune by giving him a new nickname – “Skippy”. Those crazy Aussies!

Skippy said he wouldn’t have thrown a punch back even if he had the chance because of the ‘roo’s status as a national symbol, and he has no hard feelings against kangaroos. Aww.

Like the Alaska wolf attack,  it appears that the act of running set off the animal. Australian vet Michael Archinald says that is not surprising:

"They get very territorial at certain times of the year as well, they're protecting their flock," he said. "They get very antsy and of course this guy would have been running and that's quite a threatening thing to a roo and the roo is like, fight or flight, so in it goes."


  1. Where are you finding all this stuff? ;)

  2. Ha! Thanks to Google News email alerts I get all the news related to running from the world over, delivered to my mailbox. Lately the news has been pretty wierd.