We’ve all seen kangaroos in zoos and know, of course, that they live in Australia. Before visiting Oz however, we didn’t know if we’d be able to see one in the wild. There is certainly plenty of wildlife in the U.S. that you don’t ordinarily come across.
We saw our first roos, as the Aussies call them, on our second day here. All that is required is to drive ten minutes outside of a populated area at dusk. Many types of roos (there are sixty different species) are nocturnal, and plenty are moving about as darkness approaches. And there’s the danger.
Some full grown species of roos can weigh as much as 90 kilograms (about 200 pounds) and you don’t want one coming through your windshield (windscreen). We are told that they are completely unpredictable and one running alongside the car may suddenly jump in front of it.
You will see these “kangaroo crossing” sign everywhere out in the country (called “the bush” in Oz).
All you can really do is slow down when you see one (if you see it in time – they are very quick), and hope it stays out of your way. Most Aussie drivers try to avoid the more rural routes at night if possible. Some equip their cars with “roo bars”.
Sort of like a “cow catcher” seen on trains, this contraption is intended to protect your auto in the event of a collision with a Kangaroo. Folks we talked to said that they are of dubious value.