Thursday 20 June 2019

Giant red kangaroo dubbed ‘Arnie of Roos’ dies aged 12

Roger stood six feet seven inches tall and weighed nearly 200 pounds in his prime.

(John Stillwell/PA)
(John Stillwell/PA)

By Alastair Reid, Press Association

A giant red kangaroo dubbed the Arnold Schwarzenegger of the animal world which became an internet sensation for his muscly physique has died in Australia at the age of 12.

Roger, who stood six feet seven inches tall and weighed nearly 200 pounds in his prime, died of old age at The Kangaroo Sanctuary in Alice Springs where he had lived most of his life.

In a Facebook post announcing the sad news, sanctuary staff wrote: “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.”

Roger a few years back 💪🏽 not letting me past 😍

Posted by The Kangaroo Sanctuary Alice Springs on Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Roger first came to the world’s attention in 2015 when images of the mighty marsupial holding a crushed metal bucket went viral online, receiving millions of views around the globe.

“He just took the metal bucket and crumpled it like a coke can in your hand,” Chris Barnes, who established the Kangaroo Sanctuary in 2005, told CNN at the time.

Chris “Brolga” Barnes rescued Roger in 2006 when he was just a baby joey, after his mother got hit by a car, and built the sanctuary to house him and other kangaroos like him.

An old photo posted from when Roger was five months old shows he had muscles even then.

Roger as a baby at about 5 months old. If you look close you can see his little muscles 💪🏽 Wasn’t he a cutie 💕

Posted by The Kangaroo Sanctuary Alice Springs on Thursday, November 9, 2017

He quickly grew up to be the alpha male of the sanctuary and spent his days working out by sparring with rivals, crushing buckets and chasing human staff at the sanctuary.

“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 too,” said Brolga in a video on Facebook announcing Roger’s death.

Our magnificent Roger when he was alpha male 💙 The red on his neck is his male scent that he rubbed on females and trees to mark his territory.

Posted by The Kangaroo Sanctuary Alice Springs on Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Roger’s health started to wane in 2016, when Brolga posted a video saying he had been treated for arthritis and that his sight was starting to fade.

“He is my best mate, my son…and I love him a lot,” Brolga wrote at the time.

Kangaroos normally live to be 12 years old in the wild, he added.

Speaking in the video announcing his death, he said: “It’s a very sad day here today for we have lost our beautiful boy Roger.

“We will reflect on his life today and many years to come. He will always be here.

“We’ve laid him to rest out here so he can be with his family.”

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 ❤️

Posted by The Kangaroo Sanctuary Alice Springs on Saturday, December 8, 2018

Nearly 2,000 people on Facebook sent their condolences to the sanctuary team in the comments of the video.

One wrote: “Many tears will be shed in Australia tonight and indeed around the world as the news gets passed around.

“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.”

Another wrote: “Roger was the Schwarzenegger of ‘roos and I adored him.”

Press Association

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