Another bucket kicks the bucket. (Photo: The Kangaroo Sanctuary Alice Springs/Facebook)
Roger the kangaroo likes to play the tough guy. And at 6-foot-5, 200 pounds, he's believable.
The 9-year-old marsupial has become an international celebrity thanks to his chiseled physique, which he uses to crush metal buckets — and woo ladies — at Alice Springs Kangaroo Sanctuary in central Australia. Not only is Roger a star of the BBC/National Geographic TV show "Kangaroo Dundee," but he has recently gone viral online as more and more people discover his Facebook photos.
The images may be hard to believe, but this is really what Roger looks like:
It's not unusual for alpha male kangaroos to bulk up at Roger's age. In fact, as Tahnee Barns of the Kangaroo Sanctuary tells Mashable Australia, Roger probably isn't finished honing his guns. "He's still growing, so he'll get bigger," she says. "The bigger they are, the more likely they are to win the females." Roger is only 9 years old, and red kangaroos can live for more than two decades in the wild.
Roger was still a tiny joey when his mother was fatally struck by a car in 2006. Thankfully, though, he was personally rescued by Chris "Brolga" Barns, the Kangaroo Sanctuary's founder and director.
"I rescued Roger from his dead mother's pouch in 2006 when he weighed just 2 pounds," Barns writes in an email to MNN. "Today he's a beautiful 200 pounds of 'Aussie muscle.' I am so proud of him."
Here's what Roger looked like in his early days at the sanctuary:
After spending nearly a decade at the 50-acre refuge, Roger has grown from a spindly, doe-eyed infant into one of the brawniest kangaroos you'll ever see. He spends his days grazing on grass and grains, kick boxing, and crushing metal feed buckets. While he's not quite as "Hulk smash" as he looks, he is a force to be reckoned with — as he recently reminded Chris Barns.
"You never stand and trade blows, not that I would, but you don't want to get within kicking range of Roger," Barns tells News Corp Australia. "Just his hands can scratch you up badly. Recently he gave me six stitches in the groin. You've got to understand that big male kangaroos have the potential to disembowel you. I was very lucky recently getting away with just a few stitches."
Roger may have built up a tough-guy persona, but there's also a softer side to this tower of muscle. Here's a shot of him with a plush rabbit taken in April:
Still, despite saving Roger's life and raising him from a tiny joey, Barns explains that he has learned to give this ripped 'roo plenty of elbow room. Barns is roughly the same height as Roger, and that can make him seem like a potential competitor.
"His natural instincts as a grown male tell him to fight me," Barns writes. "So we have a level of respect for one another now. I run from Roger (-: "