Wildlife encounters in Australia are markedly different from those in North America. For example, whereas deer fights or even duels between rival bears may occur outside someone’s lawn here in the Northern Hemisphere, we’ll likely never see a battle between two kickboxing kangaroos. The video embedded below, posted to YouTube by Rodney Langham on October 2, depicts a five-minute bout between two equally-matched ‘roos right in the street.
This fight may look comical, but rest assured that you wouldn’t want to be in the middle of those kicks. Kangaroo fights can be rather ritualized and initiated to settle just about any argument. Males will fight for territory or access to females, but both sexes will start a match to settle debates over things like water holes. Challenges can be declined, and strangely, larger males will often reject challenges by smaller adversaries. When a fight begins, the boxers will often grasp the other’s forepaws or neck, and attempt to kick each other in the abdomen. These blows can break bones or cause other severe injuries, and sometimes even disembowel the opponent. A kangaroo’s powerful hind legs are clawed and can easily rip through flesh, making them a powerful weapon against would-be predators like coyotes.