Australians told to eat more kangaroo as population hits double that of humans
Australians have been told to hunt and eat kangaroos after the population of the marsupial reached double that of humans.
New data shows the kangaroo population in Australia is close to hitting 50 million, while the human population stands at 24 million.
Experts are now warning Australians to hunt, eat and cull the native animal or face being overrun by it.
The kangaroo population has boomed in recent years, rising to 45 million last year from 27 million in 2010, news.com.au reported. The huge rise in kangaroo numbers is thought to be due to an abundance of food after high rainfall.
David Paton, Associate Professor from the University of Adelaide, said communities needed to support kangaroo culling programmes and eat their meat to avoid wasting carcasses.
“If we’re going to cull these animals we do it humanely, but we also perhaps should think about what we might use the animals that are killed for,” he told the ABC.
“We shouldn’t just simply leave them out in paddocks to rot of leave them in the reserves to rot.”
A large kangaroo population could also pose a threat to biodiversity, Professor Paton said: “It’s not the kangaroos’ fault they’re overabundant, it’s probably we’ve just been too reluctant to take a stick to them, remove them out of the system sooner, to actually prevent the damage being caused.”
Kangaroos are seen as national pests in Australia. According to a report published by the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment, they damage fences, compete with domestic livestock for food and water and trample crops.
There have also been reports of kangaroos behaving violently towards humans in areas where they have been fed by members of the public.