Hunt for aggressive kangaroos in Australia after backyard attack leaves woman seriously injured

MELBOURNE, Australia — Wildlife authorities in the eastern Australian state of New South Wales have warned that kangaroos should be approached with caution after a woman was attacked by one of the marsupials just outside her home.

The 52-year-old from the town of Grafton suffered serious injuries to her legs when she was pulled down by a kangaroo in her back garden late last week, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports.

A spokesman for the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Lawrence Orel, told the news service that rangers had been given instructions to hunt down and kill three large male kangaroos that have been seen acting aggressively in the area.

More from GlobalPost: "Rogue" kangaroo attacks woman, 94, in Australia

In an interview, he said:  "It's really important that people remember that kangaroos are not Skippy at all," he said.

"Skippy has unfortunately created this concept in our national psyche that kangaroos are completely benign. The reality is, unfortunately, they're wild animals and they react completely instinctively."

The Northern Star newspaper spoke to the victim, which it names as Sue Lawrence, and says she has spent the five days since the attack recovering in a trauma unit.

She said the kangaroo was over 2 meters (6 feet 6 inches) tall and had attacked her at least five times after pushing her to the ground.

"I did not see him. Next thing I'm on the ground – he must have pushed me over. He started jumping on me and then he'd turn around and come back and have another go," she said. "I just screamed and screamed and screamed," she said, adding that the kangaroo eventually hopped away.

The kangaroo cut open her right calf and ripped out the muscle, and inflicted deep puncture wounds in her left leg.

Authorities say they believe and Eastern Grey Kangaroo was responsible for the attack.

More from GlobalPost: Elvis the crocodile attacks Australian zoo's lawn mower (VIDEO)

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Sign up for The Top of the World, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning.