December 10, 2018
Roger, a kangaroo who won global fame for his enormous size and impressive physique, has died at the age of 12.
The roo was rescued as a joey after his mother was killed in a car accident, and grew up at the Kangaroo Sanctuary in Alice Springs in Australia.
And he grew up a lot – ending up more than 2m (6ft 7) tall and weighing 89kg (196lbs).
The sanctuary announced his death from old age at the weekend, saying they had lost their “beautiful boy”.
“He was still a baby when I saved him from his mother’s pouch after she’d gotten killed on the highway,” Chris “Brolga” Barns told the BBC.
Mr Barns set up the sanctuary as a place to raise him. The marsupial soon became the alpha, and had 12 wives. There are currently more than 50 kangaroos at the site.
“At the beginning, there was a close bond but soon he looked at me as competition and wanted to fight me,” said Mr Barns.
Roger first came to the world’s attention in 2015 when images of him crushing a metal bucket in his hands using his huge muscles went viral.
“Roger was as muscular as they come,” Mr Barns said, pointing out that while his size and strength were not entirely unusual, they still set him apart from many other male kangaroos.
“Ever since he was featured on TV and clips went viral, there’s been a lot of love and attention for him,” Mr Barns said.
“Now that he passed away, we are again getting a lot of attention and have received condolences from people around the world.”
In his later years, Roger had struggled with arthritis and fading vision, but was “loving his retirement”, Mr Barns said in 2016.
Kangaroos can live for as long as 14 years but rarely make it to that age when in the wild.
“Life is much harder in the wild for an older kangaroo,” Mr Barns told the BBC.
“When they get sick, the dingos, our wild dogs, will attack and eat them.”
He said Roger had been buried in the sanctuary so “he will always be here”.
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