Man left bleeding from eyes after being attacked by kangaroo he thought was dead

As Eastern grey kangaroo lies dead on the side of a highway, near Oatlands, Tasmania, Australia. File/EPA/AP Photo

A man was left a bloody mess after he was attacked by a kangaroo he initially thought was dead on the side of a road in Australia.

Billy Willox was trying to do a good deed when he stopped after spotting something move next to a kangaroo lying on the ground.

“All of a sudden, it just got up,” Willox explained to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). “Before I knew it, it had gone for my eyes. It was very, very quick.”

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The man told the public broadcaster he went to check on the marsupial, which he assumed was dead, to see if it was carrying a joey in its pouch.

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“It scratched at my eyes and my face and started clawing at my back,” Willox told the Canberra Times. “I gave it a kick and it backed away a bit, so I got in the car.”

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Eyes filling with blood, the man managed to drive himself home, where his partner rushed him to a hospital.

“It was just so gruesome and he just kept trying to wash them out,” his partner Kerrie Venables told ABC.

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Parks and Conservation Service ranger Joel Patterson told the broadcaster it’s quite common for injured animals appear to “rise from the dead.”

“They can spring quite quickly into action and cause quite a bit of damage,” Patterson said. “”I’ve seen it often with kangaroos that have sustained quite severe injuries; they have this last surge where they just spring to life a little bit.

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“Often that might be their last hurrah,” the ranger said of the roo.

Willox required multiple surgeries to repair torn ligaments and facial tissue around his eyes.

“All in all, I’m a lucky guy on so many fronts,” Willox told the Canberra Times. “When it happened I thought the worst; that I’d lost the sight in one of my eyes.”

Willox has recuperated nicely from his injuries and is already back at work after the once-in-a-lifetime incident.

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