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Kangaroo Predators: What Eats Kangaroos? (8 Natural Enemies)

Kangaroos have few natural predators, as they are generally stronger than all animals in their natural habitat. The few predators that do eat kangaroos include dingoes, eagles, pythons, Tasmanian devils, saltwater crocodiles, wild dogs, foxes, and humans. Most predators don’t attack kangaroos but eat their carcasses instead.

Although herbivores, kangaroos are not at the bottom of the food chain.[1] They evolved and adapted to deal with all other strong animals in Australia.

Still, there are some carnivores that occasionally eat kangaroos, and a few of them even hunt them regularly. These predators most often leave adult kangaroos and go for babies.

In this article, we will examine predators that eat kangaroos and how they attack them.

Here are 8 predators that eat kangaroos:

  1. Dingoes
  2. Wedge-tailed Eagles
  3. Australian Scrub Pythons
  4. Tasmanian Devils
  5. Saltwater Crocodiles
  6. Wild Dogs
  7. Foxes
  8. Humans

1. Dingoes

Kangaroo vs. Dingo

Dingoes are the main natural predators of kangaroos. They hunt for baby kangaroos more than adults, as dingoes are smaller than kangaroos. Dingoes can only take down fully grown kangaroo if they work together.

Scientific nameCanis dingo/Canis familiaris dingo/Canis lupus dingo
HabitatDeserts, forests, woodlands, shrublands, savannas, plains
Average sizeHeight: 20-23 inchesLength: 47-59 inches
Average weight22-33 pounds

Dingoes (like kangaroos) are native to Australia. They are the largest predators of their homeland and hunt a variety of animals, including kangaroos.[2]

These wild dogs are much smaller than kangaroos, as they only weigh around 22-33 pounds, and kangaroos can weigh up to 200 pounds. Dingoes are opportunistic predators because of this. They search their surroundings extensively and only attack kangaroos if their prey is defenseless or young.

Dingoes hunt for baby kangaroos that wandered far from their mob’s protection. To take down a grown individual, several dingoes need to surround the animal and look for an opening to get into biting range.

2. Wedge-tailed Eagles

Wedge-tailed Eagles

Baby kangaroos often fall prey to wedge-tailed eagles. They are the largest bird of prey in Australia and hunt small mammals, up to the size of small kangaroos.

Scientific nameAquila audax
HabitatWoodlands, forests, open fields, mountains, near sea
Average sizeWingspan: 112 inchesLength: 42 inches
Average weightAround 8 pounds

Wedge-tailed eagles are the largest birds of prey in Australia. The size of their wingspan and length is comparable to the height of some smaller kangaroo species.[3]

These birds both hunt and scavenge for food. They generally attack smaller animals, like rabbits or lizards. They can’t carry more than their body weight, so they only attack small kangaroos or joeys.

Wedge-tailed eagles most often stick to kangaroo carrion meat (dead kangaroos) and only attack kangaroos under 8 pounds.

3. Australian Scrub Pythons

Australian Scrub Pythons
Image Source

The Australian scrub python is the largest snake in Australia. They are muscular constrictors that bite into their prey, wrap their bodies around them, and hold on until suffocation.

Scientific nameSimalia kinghorni
HabitatTropical rainforest
Average sizeLength: 197-290 inches
Average weight55 pounds

The scrub pythons are large and patient constrictors. They move slowly in the dark as they search for their prey, which are rodents, fruit bats, possums, and even kangaroos in their juvenile life stage.[4]

They attack with a swift bite on the unsuspecting kangaroo. They also wrap around the animal. Scrub pythons can suffocate their prey in a matter of minutes.

Although they are capable of killing smaller kangaroos, scrub pythons avoid adult ones. Some kangaroos weigh twice as much as them and are muscular enough to break free of their grasp.

4. Tasmanian Devils

Tasmanian Devil

Tasmanian devils are not natural predators of kangaroos, but they occasionally scavenge on their corpses. They rarely attack smaller kangaroos.

Scientific nameSarcophilus harrisii
HabitatCoastal heaths, open and dry sclerophyll forests, sclerophyll rainforests
Average sizeLength: 26 inches (males)
Average weight18 pounds (males)

Tasmanian devils are aptly endemic to the island of Tasmania. Despite their imposing name, they are relatively small and scavenge more than they hunt.[5]

These marsupials are capable of dealing with joeys, but adult kangaroos easily take care of the devils, should they attack. Devils use their powerful jaws to shatter the bones of carrion meat rather than for hunting.

Tasmanian devils eat anything of animal origin, but they usually stay clear of confrontation. Only small kangaroo joeys need to be wary of attacks.

5. Saltwater Crocodiles

Saltwater Crocodile

The saltwater crocodile is the largest living reptile species. They are found near coasts in brackish waters. These reptiles are highly aggressive and attack anything that comes close to them, including kangaroos.

Scientific nameCrocodylus porosus
HabitatCoastal regions, brackish waters
Average sizeLength: 170-205 inches (males)
Average weight904-1146 pounds (males)

As the biggest reptiles in the world, there aren’t any animals that the saltwater crocodile can’t kill. This includes everything from small fishes to big kangaroos.[6]

Crocodiles ambush their prey. They stay still in the water, waiting for thirsty kangaroos. When their target leans down to drink, they bite their prey’s neck and do their signature death roll. The kangaroo’s neck is instantly broken if the crocodile is successful.

Kangaroos are helpless in a fight against saltwater crocodiles, but their reactions are fast and they are capable of jumping away to safety. 

Kangaroos also rarely go near salty waters.

6. Feral Dogs

Feral Dogs

Feral dogs are the wild variants of domestic dogs. They evolved without human interaction and behave similarly to dingoes. This means they also attack kangaroos.

Scientific nameCanis familiaris/Canis lupus familiaris
HabitatForests, plains, grasslands, urban areas, savannas, deserts
Average sizeHeight: 6-43 inchesBack length: 12-33 inchesSize largely depends on breed
Average weight50-70 pounds

Feral dogs are the same as domestic dogs, except they haven’t had extensive human interaction. As close relatives of the dingoes, they behave similarly to them.[7]

These dogs are generally bigger than dingoes, but they still only attack baby kangaroos. They also tend to be more solitary than dingoes, so they rarely go for larger individuals.

Feral dogs will eat kangaroo carcasses if they find them. Kangaroo meat is low in fat and rich in protein and iron. This makes it an excellent source of nourishment for them. 

7. Foxes


The only fox species that lives in Australia is the red fox. Australian red foxes behave similarly to other species around the world. They only attack small kangaroos or joeys.

Scientific nameVulpes vulpes
HabitatWoodlands, forests, grasslands, suburban areas, anywhere in Australia except tropical regions
Average sizeHeight: 14-20 inchesLength: 18-35 inches
Average weight5-30 pounds

Red foxes were introduced in Australia around the 1830s for sport hunting purposes. They couldn’t be contained and went on to cause serious damage to the Australian ecosystem.[9]

These canids are the largest species of true foxes, but even then they are too small to take on a fully grown kangaroo. They hunt by stalking their prey and go for smaller kangaroos or joeys.

Red foxes usually stay clear of kangaroos. An adult’s kick is enough to seriously damage them, so they only hunt weak individuals or joeys fresh out of their mother’s pouch.

8. Humans

man hunting in the forest

Humans are the most effective hunters of kangaroos. Australian cuisine features kangaroo meat and farmers are given licenses to kill them for crop protection.

Scientific nameHomo sapiens
HabitatUrban and rural areas anywhere around the world
Average sizeMale: 67 inchesFemale: 62 inches
Average weight130-180 pounds

As with all animals, humans are the most dangerous predators of kangaroos. We sit on top of the food chain due to our intelligence and ability to use tools.[10]

Kangaroos are hunted in Australia for both food and pest control. Kangaroos outnumber the Continent’s human population by roughly 2:1 (42.8 million kangaroos in 2019, 25.7 million humans in 2020) and they are a rich food source for Aussies.

Kangaroos are also considered pests by the Australian government. They tend to graze on crops, so farmers are allowed to kill them to protect their goods. 

About 1.6 million kangaroos are slaughtered annually.

Vehicle collisions and other accidental killings are also present. Kangaroos are the most frequent animal victims of roadkills as roads have been introduced to their natural habitat.

Humans would generally lose against kangaroos when it comes to hand-to-hand confrontation. The only thing that gives us the edge is tool usage and intelligence. Even the biggest kangaroos are no match for rifles and other weapons.


Kangaroos have few natural predators. Their size and muscular physique deter most hunters in their habitat. Generally, only baby kangaroos are attacked by other animals. Adult kangaroos are attacked by large predators occasionally, like saltwater crocodiles.

The only creature that hunts adult kangaroos naturally is humans. We are capable of hunting them easily with weapons. Kangaroos are killed regularly in Australia by hunting, crop protection, and accidental vehicle collisions. Kangaroos in the wild are often consumed as carrion meat by smaller predators, like Tasmanian devils and wedge-tailed eagles.


Do Kangaroos Kill Humans?

Kangaroos generally do not kill humans. Although they can be aggressive, there are very few fatal cases of kangaroo attacks. The most recent was a 77-year-old man killed by his pet kangaroo in 2022, which was the first fatal kangaroo attack since 1936.[11]

Do Tigers Eat Kangaroos?

Tigers can eat kangaroos theoretically. As large carnivores and predators, tigers would see kangaroos as prey. Since they do not share their habitat, tigers can’t hunt kangaroos in the wild. If captive tigers are given kangaroo meat, they will eat it.

Are Kangaroos Prey or Predators?

Kangaroos are prey animals technically, but few animals hunt them. Kangaroos do not hunt other animals as they are herbivores and only consume plants. Large individuals become prey occasionally, but predators rarely attack fully grown kangaroos.

What is The Biggest Threat to Kangaroos?

The biggest threat to kangaroos is habitat loss and droughts. Kangaroos are the most frequently killed for profit around the world out of all native animals, but habitat loss is still a bigger threat.[12] As more areas become urbanized, kangaroos are confined to smaller regions. Droughts reduce the vegetation of Australia which is the kangaroo’s primary food source.

About Misfit Animals Staff

The Misfit Animals staff consists of animal lovers, pet enthusiasts, veterinarians, zoologists, and other animal experts. Our goal is to provide people with information on proper animal care.

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