EXCLUSIVE

Valla Beach boy attacked by a kangaroo

VICIOUS: Lewis Dyer's injuries from the kangaroo attack at Valla Beach
VICIOUS: Lewis Dyer's injuries from the kangaroo attack at Valla Beach

Thursday afternoon at Valla Beach and father Brenton Dyer was digging a couple of holes under the house. The kids were playing on the vacant blocks out the back as they often did.

When he heard the first scream, he thought it was just a cry of irritation between sparring brothers, Jedd (10) and Lewis (5).

He told the Nambucca Guardian that it was the second one that turned his blood to ice.

"I looked out and all I could see was a cloud of dust and Lewis on the ground being stomped on by a kangaroo," Brenton said.

"I just ran as fast as I could, it was only about 70 metres away but it felt like my feet were lead. I didn't even think, I went straight through the fence and tackled it and hit it and punched it with everything I had.

"It was real survival instinct stuff - it stood up and tried to have a go at me but decided against it."

VACANT LOT: The subdivision in Valla Beach where the attack occurred

VACANT LOT: The subdivision in Valla Beach where the attack occurred

"It was scarey how savage it was - it was not stopping.

"Luckily Lewis had a few layers of clothes on because otherwise I hate to think what could have happened. As it was the scratches tore through a jacket, a shirt and singlet to rip his skin."

Lewis' mother Bev told the Nambucca Guardian she was stunned by both the ferocity of the attack and the extent of the injuries to her son.

I looked and I saw the roo had Lew!

Bev Dyer

"His head was badly scratched but I only saw the wounds on his back when I put Lewis in the shower to clean him off - it was really shocking," Bev said.

"We took him up to the hospital and they glued some of the wounds on his head ... all the bruising is starting to come out now."

Bev said when she put a post on the internet to warn people, she was surprised to see how many people had no idea kangaroos could be a threat.

"People are really not aware how dangerous they can be," she said.

"Apparently there have been attacks north of Coffs Harbour but we've never heard of anything down here - we really want to warn people."

SAFE AND HEALING: Lewis Dyer, left, and Jedd with parents Brenton and Bev

SAFE AND HEALING: Lewis Dyer, left, and Jedd with parents Brenton and Bev

While Lewis' wounds are healing well, the boys are still shaken by what happened.

"I saw the kangaroos coming towards us and we started running ... the big one just came on and tackled Lewis - I was really worried," Jedd said.

For Lewis, it will be quite a while before he wants to see another kangaroo.

"No more kangaroos for me!" he said emphatically.

The kangaroos have kept their distance since but Brenton is fearful of another attack.

"When this happened to Lewis, the kids were not posing any obvious threat at all ... suppose there is someone walking their dog and the dog starts yapping, things could really get ugly."

When asked by the Nambucca Guardian, the National Parks and Wildlife Service responded:

"In the event of a kangaroo attack, NPWS has a number of procedures in place to correctly manage aggressive wildlife.

"In the first instance, all concerned members of the public should request assistance from NPWS. The ranger can provide advice on animal management.

"Further action is assessed on a case by case basis."

The media officer said NPWS would like to remind everyone of the importance of respecting the homes of these animals and not interfering with local fauna in their natural habitats.

"Children should be accompanied at all times by a responsible adult to prevent incidents like these from re-occurring."

For more information, visit this document: Living with Kangaroos

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