A family is mourning the death of their Kangaroo after their neighbor allegedly killed the animal Dec. 22 in Sumner County, Tennessee.
The Sumner County Sheriffs Department responded to an incident around 5pm Wednesday after reports came in that two people were fighting with a kangaroo, WHNT News 19 reported.
The owners of the kangaroo, Hope and Chris Lea, were contacted by their neighbors who informed them that Carter, the 5-foot, 60-pound kangaroo, had escaped his regular enclosure, WHNT News 19 reported. (RELATED: Baby Kangaroo Stolen From Farm)
“They made it sound like they were out in their property, but that wasn’t the case,” Lea told News 4 Nashville. “They never left our property.”
Lea later got another call a few minutes later. “He says, I’m strangling the kangaroo now. He grabbed my wife. I’m going to kill him. He’s dangerous. Y’all need to keep your m-f*cking animals contained,” Lea recounted to News 4 Nashville. “They were still in my perimeter fence on my property.”
“It’s a lot of unknown answered questions that will probably never be answered, to be honest with you.” said Lea, “We love these animals like they’re our kids. He didn’t deserve to be choked and strangled to death.”
Tennessee man strangles, kills pet kangaroo while talking to owner on phone https://t.co/fuf4t8frI2 pic.twitter.com/b16bvOQjDf
— New York Post (@nypost) December 25, 2021
When Lea and his wife returned to their property, they found Carter’s lifeless body surrounded by the joeys, according to WHNT News 19.
“I was screaming because all of the babies were standing around his dead body and I was just so upset,” said Lea, according to WHNT News 19.
“He didn’t have nowhere to go,” Lea said. “He was choked to death in his own space.”
Chris and Hope Lea have reportedly said they will be looking for some kind of compensation for Carter’s “unnecessary” death.
An infographic from New South Wales in Australia called “Living With Kangaroos” states that kangaroos “may push or grapple with its forepaws or sit back and kick out with its hind legs.” Attacks may occur when “kangaroos have lost their instinctive fear of humans” or “a kangaroo sees a person as a sparring partner” among others, according to the infographic. (RELATED: Police Capture Runaway Kangaroo In Fort Lauderdale, Florida)
Kangaroos are a protected species and are mostly used for meat, pelts and hunting purposes with the appropriate licensing, despite protests from American animal rights activists.