Bicycle lights for kangaroos

Anyone who has spent any time watching kangaroos will know that they are incredibly inquisitive. The mob of 25 or so individuals which call my back paddock home certainly fall into this category.

Some of the other animals in the mob.

Some of the Eastern Grey Kangaroos in ‘our’ mob. The one on the left is carrying a large joey in her pouch.

I am fortunate to own a place on the far outskirts of a small city with plenty of space to accommodate these wild animals. For many years, I and my family planted thousands of tree and shrub seedlings and these have now formed tall, dense thickets which are great places for these Grey Kangaroos to hide, sleep and relax. With no livestock to compete with, they also have plenty to eat.

Those who read about my bricklaying exploits will know that we are in the process of building a house. This dwelling is in one of the areas that is frequently inspected by the ‘roo population as they pass by on their evening grazing route. I never get tired of watching them as they cautiously approach and then bound away when they realise they have come a bit too close for comfort! We are so lucky to have wild and totally free animals choose to live on our doorstep. It is not a common thing in this country.

However, they do pose certain problems. Around this time last year, we had just poured the concrete floor for the house and we had to stay off it for a day or so until it hardened. It fell to me to make sure that the kangaroo mob also stayed off as it was an absolute certainly that they would come and have a look! But what to do to discourage them?

Female kangaroo with her joey. This was taken with a zoom lens. They rarely come closer than about 30 metres

Female kangaroo with her joey. This was taken with a zoom lens. They rarely come closer than about 30 metres

It was going to be a cold night and I did not fancy camping nearby, so that was out. I also did not like the idea of having to keep getting up (they move around a lot at night) to check on their whereabouts.

So I gathered together all the bicycle lights I could find that would flash in the dark and put these all around the slab. It looked very funny, but I hoped that the lights would be sufficiently alarming to keep them at a wary distance. For good measure, I also left a radio on so that it sounded as if humans were about somewhere!

It worked a treat! No kangaroo paw prints anywhere!

They did come the next night though, and had a good look – leaving a few droppings just so that I would know that everything had been ‘checked out’!

When Ailsa posted her Travel theme: Light this week, I thought this story was just the thing to post in response! Have you ever resorted to using bicycle lights to ward off wild animals? I imagine it would work for lots of different critters.

This entry was posted in Musings, Odds & ends, Travel, Weekly challenges and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Bicycle lights for kangaroos

  1. Lyle says:

    Nice solution to the problem.


    • Madoqua says:

      Yes, I was a bit dubious about whether it would work as I did not have very many lights! It would have been funny watching the reaction of the animals 😆


      • Lyle says:

        I suppose this could have backfired and actually drawn them in to investigate instead of kept them away.


        • Madoqua says:

          I did think about that, but even though they are inquisitive, they do like to keep their distance from ‘new’ things for a few days. I think I would have been in trouble if I had had to keep them away for longer than 24 hours.

          I was quite astounded some months later when the framework was up – they jumped in through an empty window space to have a look around, then left that way too!


  2. Perfect in every way 🙂


  3. Lucky lucky you ! Kangaroos in your backyard. What a treat 🙂


  4. scrapydo says:

    Wow, this is amazing. I have never seen a life kangaroo in the wild. Seen only small ones in the zoo.


    • Madoqua says:

      There are three mobs living near where we live/work – two are small, only a few to a dozen animals in each. By far the biggest mob live in my back paddock! Lucky, lucky me!


  5. scrapydo says:

    I nominated you for an award!


  6. pommepal says:

    Great idea, thinking outside the box… It is so lovely to be able to watch wild life on your own piece of paradise. That is a big Joey she has half in and half out of her pouch


    • Madoqua says:

      It was a jolly cold night and no way was I camping out in that, so I had to get creative! Luckily we have a few bike riders in the family, so I burgled the lights off all their treadlies!


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