According to a post that circulates via social media, an Australian police officer has been brutally beaten and sexually assaulted by a kangaroo.
The post features an image that supposedly depicts the officer’s encounter with the kangaroo before the assault. A second image features a close up of a man with a facial injury.
The post links to a report that gives more details about the supposed kangaroo attack.
However, despite its appearance, the story is not a genuine news report, and the two images are not related. The pictured kangaroo did have a minor brush with the law some years ago but it didn’t beat up or sexually assault anyone.
In fact, the article comes from the notorious fake-news website World News Daily Report (WNDR). The pictured marsupial is innocent of the allegations made against it, although here in Australia, we might be inclined to refer to the people who actually published the fake report as “wombats”.
WNDR includes the following disclaimer at the bottom of its reports:
World News Daily Report assumes all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content. All characters appearing in the articles in this website – even those based on real people – are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any person, living, dead or undead, is purely a miracle.
Nothing published on WNDR is intended to be taken seriously. But, despite the clear disclaimer, many users still share the fake reports in the mistaken belief that they are genuine news.
So what of the images used in the fake story?
The first image actually shows a police officer confronting an escaped kangaroo in North Ridgeville, Ohio, USA back in 2015. Reports indicate that the officers involved and the kangaroo were able to resolve their differences peaceably and neither primates nor marsupials were injured. A November 2015 Fox8 Cleveland news report noted:
Sgt. Corey Sabo, Ptlm. John Metzo, and Ptlm Brad Parker all responded and were able to get the kangaroo, named “Foster” (Get it?? Awesome), back to his pen on Island Road, though it appears that he wanted to box Ptlm Metzo before going back in the second picture. Luckily, cooler heads prevailed and Foster called it a night before it came to blows. And yes, with the proper permits, you can have a kangaroo in the city.
The second image shows a police constable who was assaulted in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia in 2016. The attacker was not a kangaroo but rather a (much more dangerous) human male. An October 2016 NT News report that features the same image noted:
BLOODIED and bruised Constable Nick Carter was yesterday recovering from a brutal coward punch allegedly delivered by a Mitchell St punter who was refused entry to a nightclub only moments before the attack.
For the record, although this story is nonsense, kangaroos have been known to attack humans under some circumstances. Like any wild animal, kangaroos should be treated with respect and caution.