CANBERRA, Australia (AP) - When a dark intruder smashed through
his bedroom window and repeatedly bounced on his bed, Beat Ettlin
at first was relieved to discover it was a kangaroo.
"My initial thought when I was half awake was, 'It's a lunatic
ninja coming through the window,"' the 42-year-old told The
Associated Press on Monday. "It seems about as likely as a
kangaroo breaking in."
But his relief was short-lived. As Ettlin cowered beneath the
sheets with his wife and 9-year-old daughter at 2 a.m. Sunday, the
frantic kangaroo bounded into the bedroom of his 10-year-old son
Leighton Beman, who screamed, "There's a 'roo in my room!"
"I thought, 'This can be really dangerous for the whole family
now,"' Ettlin said.
The ordeal played out over a few minutes in the family's house
in Garran, an upmarket suburb in the leafy national capital of
Ettlin, a chef originally from the Swiss city of Stans, said he
jumped the 90 pound (40 kilogram) marsupial from behind and pinned
it to the floor. He grabbed it in a headlock and wrestled the
trashing and bleeding intruder into a hallway, toward the front
He used a single, fumbling hand to open the front door and
shoved the kangaroo into the night.
"I had just my Bonds undies on. I felt vulnerable," he said,
referring to a popular Australian underwear brand.
The kangaroo, which Ettlin said was around his height, 5 foot 9
inches (176 centimeters), left claw gouges in the wooden frame of
the master bed and a trail of blood through the house. The animal
was cut when it came crashing through the bedroom window.
Ettlin, who had scratch marks on his leg and buttocks and was
left wearing only his shredded underpants, described himself as
The kangaroo vanished into a nearby forest from where it likely
came. Wildlife authorities confirmed Monday they had received a
phone call saying an injured kangaroo had entered the caller's home
Greg Baxter, a Queensland University lecturer on Australian
native animals, said kangaroos rarely invade homes but have done so
in the past when panicked.
"It is very unusual, but when kangaroos become panicked, they
lose all sense of caution and just fly for where they think they
can get away," Baxter said.
Eastern gray kangaroos are common around Canberra's forested
urban fringe. They are so numerous at one defense department site
in the city that officials want to cull hundreds of the animals to
stop them ruining the habitat.
Although it had been a harrowing experience, Ettlin's wife could
see the funny side.
"I think he's a hero: a hero in Bonds undies," Verity Beman,
39, said of her husband.