Roger the Kangaroo, Famed for Muscular Frame, Dies in Australia at Age of 12

December 9, 2018 Updated: December 10, 2018

Roger, a kangaroo that captured the attention of millions of people due to his muscular frame, has died at the age of 12, according to local news outlets.

The Kangaroo Sanctuary Alice Springs in Australia’s Northern Territory confirmed the death of the animal, Stuff.co.nz reported.

The marsupial stood more than 6 feet 5 inches and weighed 196 pounds, making him among the largest kangaroos in the world. Roger made headlines in 2015, after photos showed him crushing a metal bucket with its paws.

“It’s a very sad day here today. We have lost our beautiful boy, Roger,” Chris Barnes, the sanctuary manager, said.

“Ten years ago, I built this sanctuary to house Roger and a couple of his wives … I built it so they’d have a place to live. Roger was our alpha male for many years, and he grew up to be a kangaroo that people from all over the world have grown to love as much as we love him,” he added.

Farewell our darling Roger ❤️Sadly Roger has passed away of old age. He lived a lovely long life and was loved by millions around the world. We will always love you and miss you Roger ❤️

تم النشر بواسطة ‏‎The Kangaroo Sanctuary Alice Springs‎‏ في السبت، ٨ ديسمبر ٢٠١٨

Barnes continued: “So we will reflect on his life today and for the years to come. He will always be here, and we’ve laid him to rest out here so he can be with his family.”

In 2016, Barnes revealed the animal was sick and had arthritis. “I would never have been able to pat Roger like I am now, but he is getting old,” he said at the time.

Barnes said he raised Roger as an orphaned joey sitting on the side of the road in 2006. “I rescued Roger from his dead mother’s pouch in 2006 when he weighed just 2 pounds,” Barns told Mnn.com. “Today, he’s a beautiful 200 pounds of ‘Aussie muscle.’ I am so proud of him.”

He said the animal could be dangerous to humans.

“You never stand and trade blows, not that I would, but you don’t want to get within kicking range of Roger,” Barnes told News Corp Australia. “Just his hands can scratch you up badly. Recently, he gave me six stitches in the groin. You’ve got to understand that big male kangaroos have the potential to disembowel you. I was very lucky recently getting away with just a few stitches.”

Barnes also said Roger looks at him as a potential competitor.

“His natural instincts as a grown male tell him to fight me,” Barns added. “So we have a level of respect for one another now. I run from Roger.”

People React to Animal’s Death

On the page, people responded to news of the kangaroo’s death.

“[Roger] was a magnificent animal and is a true Australian icon helping to put Central Australia on the map!” wrote one person.

“’Thank you, Brolga, for rescuing Roger those many years ago and providing a wonderful life for him and amazing experiences for so many people who visited Roger over the years,” added another.

Another wrote: “Thank you for loving him so much. A life lived fully and proudly, Roger was so lucky to have found you and you him. He will always be magnificent.”

“[Roger] lived a rich and full life and brought joy to people all around the world thanks to you Brolga,” another tribute said.

“Rest in Peace Roger! Thanks for brightening our days with your wonderful personality!” said another.

“Many tears will be shed in Australia tonight and indeed around the world as the news gets passed around,” another wrote. “Roger was a beautiful boy. He had a great life and was much loved by all. My thoughts are with you, Brolga, on the passing of your Red Kangaroo son. Sleep peacefully big boy.”

“I hope wherever you are, there’s endless buckets for you to crush,” added another person.

In Alice Springs, according to NT News, there was talk of creating a statue in memory of the animal.

Why So Big?

“His daily exercise regime is sparring [kickboxing] his rivals and chasing his human ‘Mum’, me,” Barnes told the Daily Mail several years ago. “He also loves crushing metal buckets. Don’t mess with a ‘Big Red,’ they’ll disembowel you, or worse.”

“Roger has recently been recognized as one of the 10 most famous animals in the world. Photos and videos of Roger go viral all the time because he’s world-renowned as being really muscular, with a great physique,” Barnes told National Geographic.

Other details about the animal’s death aren’t clear.

Natalie Warburton from the Murdoch University of Veterinary and Life Sciences told the publication that a kangaroo’s arm size is a factor in attracting females

“Forelimb measurements showed that whereas female musculature growth was proportional to body size, male musculature was overwhelmingly exaggerated,” she said.

As they get stronger, they get into more sparring matches with other male kangaroos to make them stand out to females, she added.

“Unfortunately, the bulkier the kangaroo, the shorter the lifespan. The team from Murdoch University believe this has to do with the higher body mass that the kangaroo has to maintain. So if a drought or a bout of famine strikes, it will hit the males harder than the females,” the publication states.

LiveScience says that red kangaroos like Roger can get from 3.25 feet to 5.25 feet in length, not including the tail.

“Its tail adds another 35.5 to 43.5 inches [3.625 feet] to its length and its entire body weighs around 200 lbs.,” it says.

“The smallest kangaroo is the musky rat-kangaroo. It is only 6 to 8 inches (15.24 to 20.32 cm) long and weighs only 12 ounces (340 grams). Its ratlike tail adds another 5 to 6 inches (12.7 to 15.24 cm) to its length,” the website says.

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