It’s with a heavy heart we must report the sad news that Roger the Ripped Kangaroo from the Internet has died aged 12.
Ripped Kangaroo, real name Roger, shot to fame in 2015 when photos of his Adonis-like, 2-metre tall body went viral.
Roger leaves behind a rich legacy. In his 12 short years, he was recognised by National Geographic as one of the Ten Most famous animals on the planet and was known by fans as the King of the Kangaroos.
Farewell our darling Roger ❤️Sadly Roger has passed away of old age. He lived a lovely long life and was loved by millions around the world. We will always love you and miss you Roger ❤️
Posted by The Kangaroo Sanctuary Alice Springs on Saturday, 8 December 2018
What many people may not know is that Roger’s rags to riches story was mired in tragedy. When he was just a joey his mother was found dead by Chris Barnes, owner of the Kangaroo Sanctuary in Alice Springs, Australia.
Chris took young Roger from his mother’s pouch and nursed him back to health. When he was ready Roger was given space on the Northern Territory ranch and eventually grew up to be an ‘alpha kangaroo’.
His favourite hobbies were allegedly crushing metal buckets with his hulking arms and flexing for potential mates (no, seriously).
Mr Barnes announced Roger’s death with an emotional Facebook video which paid tribute to the massive marsupial.
It’s a very sad day here today for we have lost our beautiful boy, Roger. Ten years ago, I built this sanctuary to house Roger and a couple of his wives, Ella (and) Abigail.
We built it so they’d have a place to live. Roger was our alpha male for many years and he grew up to be a kangaroo that people from all over the world have grown to love as much as we love him too.
Mr Barnes finished by saying he’d never forget Roger adding that he’s been buried on the ranch so he can always be close to his family.
While Roger may have been an extreme example ripped ‘roos aren’t exactly rare in the kangaroo community.
According to Dr Natalie Warburton from the Murdoch University of Veterinary and Life Sciences, musculature is an important factor for male kangaroos in attracting potential mates.
This leads to male kangaroos often having overwhelmingly exaggerated muscles which they use to spar when they’re young and to maintain their dominance as adults.
Doctor Warburton told Nat Geo:
You’ll usually have a couple of really large individuals, and they’ll be very bulked up, if you look at hem from front-on they look like they’re bodybuilders and they’ll spend quite a lot of time posturing and displaying to females, but also to other males. Obviously, that’s part of their competitive success.
Unfortunately for Roger, the very thing that made him famous might have been his undoing. Dr Warburton explained that the bulkier the kangaroo, the shorter they tend to live because of their increased dietary needs.
A statue is now being planned in Roger’s honour. Our thoughts are with his friends and family.
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