The kangaroo is one of the most recognised animals from Australia. Together with an emu, they are the supporters of the shield in the Australian Coat of Arms.
There are many species of kangaroo, some no larger than a rat, while others can be almost two metres tall and weigh forty-five kilograms.
The kangaroo is one of the few animals to benefit from European settlement of Australia. Most kangaroos live on grassland, and when the European farmers began clearing forests, the kangaroo’s habitat was expanded. It is estimated that there are ten times as many kangaroos today compared to the time before European settlement.
It is rare to see kangaroos near cities and large towns, although in times of drought they will come much closer. In small country towns, kangaroos are much more common. However, there are some places very close to large cities where small populations of kangaroos can be seen regularly. At Toorbul, only half an hour from Brisbane’s northern suburbs, kangaroos can be seen from dusk until about midnight, wandering on roads, in the parks and in the gardens surrounding people’s homes. They are usually happy to take some bread if you throw it on the ground, and will come to within a metre or so of people to get the bread.