AN elderly man attacked by a kangaroo in the backyard of his home near Heathcote says he was lucky to escape alive.
Michael Stosic, 71, was mauled on the chest and face by a kangaroo at his Mt Camel property on Thursday night.
The two-metre-tall kangaroo pushed him down a garden embankment and jumped on him before clawing at his face and body.
Mr Stosic’s wife Rada, 71, watched in horror before rushing to his aid.
“I froze then I ran toward it with a pitchfork,” she said. “The kangaroo had him pinned down and I just kept yelling at it.
“It would have killed him if I hadn’t scared it off. I would have jumped in to fight it even if I had died as well.”
The kangaroo lashed out after it had been chasing the couple’s Jack Russell Terrier across the garden.
Mr Stosic said he had never seen a kangaroo react aggressively.
“I tried to grab the dog, then when I turned the kangaroo pushed me off the embankment and I hit my head in the soil,” he said.
“He was spitting, he was very angry. I think I upset him.”
After scaring off the roo, Mrs Stosic helped her husband inside before locking the two of them in their kitchen.
Police attended and euthanased the roo out of safety concerns.
Mr Stosic was taken to hospital after the attack to get bandages for his wounds.
He said he was “extremely lucky” to walk away with minor cuts and bruises.
“All I thought when he pinned me down was I was finished. The cut was not far away from my eye.”
After having a knee replacement two months ago, Mr Stosic said he would now have a check-up to see if there was any infection.
Heathcote paramedic Steve Lomax responded to the call-out and said he was worried about Mr Stosic contracting tetanus.
“Especially because he already had underlying illnesses, incidents like this can trigger further problems,” he said.
Mrs Stosic said the ordeal was a “terrifying experience” that made her concerned others could find themselves in the same position with wild kangaroos.
“If it was children being attacked, it could have easily ended worse. You just don’t know how aggressive and fast they can be,” she said.
“I love animals; I can’t stop thinking about what’s happened, it’s very stressful. But I want to warn people not to go near them if they’re that close to your house or that aggressive.”
Mrs Stosic said they would bury the kangaroo beside the creek on their property this weekend.
The Wildlife Rescue Emergency Service can be contacted 24 hours a day on 0427 301 401.