Boxing Kangaroos - A. Thompson
Teaching the skills to native animals that they need in the wild can a little tricky at times. This is the way in which one of our carers taught her roos to box, safely! Sometimes the washing had to suffer though......
BOXING KANGAROOS Anita Thompson
One of the issues I struggle with is how to raise a male kangaroo without him learning to “box” people. Clearly the skill of boxing needs to be learned, and in the absence of a “mob” the surrogate mother becomes the practice punching bag. I’m never sure how much to encourage this as I fear the male roo as an adult may become dangerous as he feels he can “box” any human.
I also have horses, and find one in particular likes to pick up and throw a witches hat around for entertainment. I found an “horse exercise ball” in a saddlery and bought it for him. This is basically a large indestructible ball with a handle on it. The horse hated it and it lay in the paddock unused.
One day one of my larger females was investigating it and rolled it down the hill. She did this a few times, so I thought I would hang it in a tree for her. She took to it immediately, boxing with gusto. Slowly the others learnt as well, and in the morning there would be a line up to have a box.
That group moved on and I was given another male to care for and release. I used to play with him with the ball as he was growing up, then I hung it between 2 trees. Again he has used it every day for some months to “hone” his boxing skills.
This seems to have been quite a success, because when he wants to box me, I tell him very sternly NO and he immediately goes to his ball for a box instead. Unfortunately it doesn’t guarantee your washing is safe.