Swiss expat wrestles kangaroo in his home

Swiss expat wrestles kangaroo in his home

16th March 2009, Comments 0 comments

Swiss expat Beat Ettlin wrestled a kangaroo out of his home in Australia last Monday.

CANBERRA - When a dark intruder smashed through his bedroom window and repeatedly bounced on his bed, Beat Ettlin at first was relieved to discover it was a kangaroo.

"My initial thought when I was half awake was, 'It's a lunatic ninja coming through the window,'" the 42-year-old told The Associated Press last Monday, 9 March. "It seems about as likely as a kangaroo breaking in."

But his relief was short-lived. As Ettlin cowered beneath the sheets with his wife and 9-year-old daughter at 2h00 Sunday, the frantic kangaroo bounded into the bedroom of his 10-year-old son Leighton Beman, who screamed, "There's a 'roo in my room!"

"I thought, 'This can be really dangerous for the whole family now,'" Ettlin said.
The ordeal played out over a few minutes in the family's house in Garran, an upmarket suburb in the leafy national capital of Canberra.

young kangarooEttlin, a chef originally from the Swiss city of Stans, said he jumped the 40 kilogram marsupial from behind and pinned it to the floor. He grabbed it in a headlock and wrestled the thrashing and bleeding intruder into a hallway, toward the front door.

He used a single, fumbling hand to open the front door and shoved the kangaroo into the night.

"I had just my Bonds undies on. I felt vulnerable," he said, referring to a popular Australian underwear brand.

The kangaroo, which Ettlin said was around his height, 176 centimetres, left claw gouges in the wooden frame of the master bed and a trail of blood through the house. The animal was cut when it crashed through the bedroom window.

Ettlin, who had scratch marks on his leg and buttocks and was left wearing only his shredded underpants, described himself as "lucky."

The kangaroo vanished into a nearby forest from where it likely came. Wildlife authorities confirmed Monday they received a phone call saying an injured kangaroo entered the caller's home and left.

Greg Baxter, a Queensland University lecturer on Australian native animals, said kangaroos rarely invade homes but have done so in the past when panicked.

"It is very unusual, but when kangaroos become panicked, they lose all sense of caution and just fly for where they think they can get away," Baxter said.

Kangaroos fightingte - Photo Flickr by ascal Vuylsteker
Kangaroos fighting © Pascal Vuylsteker. Click here to see kangaroos wrestling by BBC wildlife

Eastern gray kangaroos are common around Canberra's forested urban fringe. They are so numerous at one defense department site in the city that officials want to gather hundreds of the animals to stop them ruining the habitat.

Although it was a harrowing experience, Ettlin's wife could see the funny side.

"I think he's a hero: a hero in Bonds undies," Verity Beman, 39, said of her husband.

Text: AP / Rod McGuirk / Expatica 2009


Photo credits: wollombi; Pascal Vuylsteker

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