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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 6

15. Osphranter rufus. — The Great Red Kangaroo. — Bullucur of the Murray natives

15. Osphranter rufus.

The Great Red Kangaroo.

Bullucur of the Murray natives.

Which has become very scarce upon the left bank of the Murray, but is still found in considerable numbers in New South Wales and South Australia. The range of this species to the eastward does not extend much beyond Mount Hope.

This large beautiful animal, about which a great deal has been written, ought to be well known to every colonist, and yet it is only a few months ago that the very existence of such a creature was doubted by an enlightened "critic," who was pleased to designate this species as ante-diluvian; indeed it must sound like a fable-to people who know little or nothing about such matters, if they are informed that the male of this species is of a foxy red, and the female of a bluish grey colour.

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The Red Kangaroos, like the great Kangaroo, (Macropus major) feed in flocks, and, when disturbed, the old males cover the retreat of the fleet females who are off first, so that specimens of the latter sex are rare, the dogs generally stopping the progress of the rear-guard of the red "old men."

In wet weather, when the chalky top soil of the "Malley scrub" is softened, these Kangaroos are easily captured: they sink deep into the ground, and any black-fellow's cur, trained for such work, will stick to the tail of the Kangaroo until his master is able to come up and crack its skull, or run a spear through it.

The female produces one young at a time, which she carries in her pouch until it is of considerable size. As in all the other members of this family, the number of mammæ is four.

The flesh is very palatable—I prefer it to that of Macropus major.