Real Life

Real life: I was kicked in the face by a kangaroo

But I was only trying to help!

By Brittany Smith

Bill Willox, 58, from Googong, NSW shares his story;

Hitting the brakes as hard as I could, I jumped out of the car and headed towards the bump on the horizon.

There, lying in the middle of the road was a big, furry creature, completely still.

"Another dead roo," I muttered to myself.

It was heartbreaking to see our native animals end up as roadkill but it happened all too often.

Working as a bus driver, I was used to it.

Wildlife centres always encouraged people to check for joeys still alive inside their mother's pouch, and I'd done it at least half a dozen times before.

As I bent down, the roo's eyes popped open.

My stomach sank as dread filled me.

There was no time to react.

As soon as the kangaroo opened its eyes it jumped up and launched itself at me.

I grunted as it slashed me across the face with its claws.

With blood pouring down my face I managed to turn my back on the creature.

Desperate to save myself, I kicked out behind me.

The Take 5 team share the jaw-dropping story of another man's run in with an animal. Listen to the Take 5 Ripper Real Life podcast!

STORY CONTINUES BELOW

My heel dug into the roo's soft belly.

I didn't wait to see if I'd done any damage.

I bolted straight for my car, not daring to look back.

Blood was still pouring from my face as I drove away.

I could only see out of one eye and was terrified the other had been gouged out. If I'd lost my eye, I'd surely lose my job too. How would I get by?

Within minutes I was pulling into the driveway and shouting out to my partner, Kerrie.

"My god," she gasped when she saw the blood gushing out of my face. "What happened to you?"

I struggled to get the words out.

READ NEXT: A paper cut nearly cost me my hand!

Me and Kerrie.
Me and Kerrie.

"I was struck by a kangaroo," I stammered.

Fear was etched across her face as she bundled me back into the car and rushed to hospital.

With my adrenaline dying down, the pain was finally hitting me.

My whole face was stinging something fierce.

I was still in shock, even as doctors started cleaning up my eyes.

"You're very lucky," he admitted. "You've got torn ligaments and skin tissue all around your eyes but your eyeball is fine."

Two hours after arriving at the hospital.
Two hours after arriving at the hospital.

I breathed a sigh of relief.

My sight would be fine.

That night I was transferred to Canberra Hospital for laser surgery on the delicate area around my eyes.

The roo had cut through my eyelid and around my eyeball but managed to miss my eye by a hairsbreadth.

Somehow I must've blinked at just the right second and saved myself from going blind.

Within five days the swelling around my face had gone down and I was back at work within weeks.

Five days after surgery.
Five days after surgery.

Now, I'm a lot more cautious and instead of dealing with roadkill myself, I call a ranger.

I've always been an animal-lover so it's hard for me to see a dead creature and just leave it on the road, especially when it could have a healthy baby in its pouch.

But after what happened, I know the risk just isn't worth it.

Kangaroos are beautiful and cute but they can be deadly.

WATCH: Orphaned tree Kangaroo raised by surrogate Wallaby mother:

read more from