Little boy rushed to hospital after kangaroo attack
"It was one of the scariest things I've ever had to go through."
Young mother Holly Madden is hailing her five-year-old son as a hero after he bravely tried to protect his sister from an aggressive kangaroo in their backyard on Sunday.
"It could have been a lot worse. I am just so grateful Cooper is such a brave little hero and stepped in, because if it had attacked his little sister, it would be another story altogether."
Cooper was rushed to hospital with deep lacerations to his back, neck and head after the kangaroo set upon him while he was playing with his sister Georgia in their backyard in Valla.
"They were playing about 25 metres from the house and all of a sudden I heard Cooper yelling 'run Georgie run'.
"Then when I looked the kangaroo was kicking him in the back and he fell into the dirt. He tried to get up but the kangaroo kicked him again and he put his hands up over his head and was screaming."
Holly picked up a cricket bat and rushed outside to her son's aid.
"I was screaming and running towards it and waving the cricket bat but it kept jumping on his head."
She finally managed to distract it and the male kangaroo then turned to her.
"It was about the same height as me so about five foot three. It made a stance then hopped away past me."
After treatment for deep lacerations Cooper is back at home on a course of antibiotics to prevent any infections but Holly says the emotional scars will take longer to heal.
"He is very very scared now to go outside and so is his sister.
"I turned on the bath last night and she put her hands up over her ears saying 'Mummy you have to be very quiet or you might wake the big kangaroo'."
She says there should be more culling in urban areas.
"There are lots of kangaroos in this estate. I've heard of other children being chased."
With the potential conflict between kangaroos and humans escalating as more and more new estates are developed the University of Sydney is conducting research into nonlethal population control at a number of kangaroo 'hot spots' in the region.
The locations are: Darlington Beach, Heritage Park (around Heritage Dr at Moonee) and the Look At Me Now Headland at Emerald Beach.
Fertility control is being trialled at all three sites with kangaroos tranquilised and then injected with a contraceptive implant.
Another method being trialled, avoiding capture and potential stress, involves shooting a dart containing contraceptive into the animal.
Associate Professor Catherine Herbert hopes the research will feed into a broader investigation into better ways of managing kangaroos in regional centres.
"One problem is that because kangaroos aren't listed as endangered or threatened they don't trigger any official processes as far as development applications go."
The recent incident has been reported to the National Parks and Wildlife Service who have been approached for comment.