Roger the absolutely ripped kangaroo who took the internet by storm dies
Roger the Kangaroo was kind of a celebrity, and not just in Australia. Roger hit viral fame in 2015, after photos of the two-metre tall marsupial made the rounds on social media. It wasn't just his unique personality that had the internet obsessed, but the fact that he was absolutely ripped.
In his 12-year lifespan (kangaroos live an average of eight to twelve years), the king of kangaroos was also recognised by National Geographic as one of the top ten most famous animals on the planet. Not too bad for a kangaroo, especially one that had such a tragic start to his life.
Chris 'Brolga' Barnes, the owner of the Kangaroo Sanctuary in Alice Springs, Australia, was the man to first find Roger. He was just a joey at the time, and was discovered along with his mother, who had died. Barnes took young Roger from his mother's pouch and took him back to the sanctuary, where he was nursed back to health.
When he was ready enough, Roger was given space on the Northern Territory ranch, where he quickly grew up to be an alpha kangaroo. And that's where he gained his fame - as the flexing of his muscles (which kangaroos often do to attract mates) soon caught the interest of the internet, who were quick to call him an 'absolute unit'.
Dr Natalie Warburton, from the Murdoch University of Veterinary and Life Sciences, musculature is a key factor for male kangaroos when they are seeking a potential partner. The muscles show off the strength that they used to spar with other kangaroos during younger years, through which they maintain their dominance as adults.
"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," Warburton told Nat Geo. "Obviously, that’s part of their competitive success."
Now, unfortunately, some sad news has been announced. On Saturday Barnes confirmed that Roger had passed away at his home in the Kangaroo Sanctuary in Alice Springs, where he lived for the last decade. In an emotional video on Facebook, the sanctuary owner announced the death and paid tribute to Roger, saying:
"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."
Roger's fans from all across the internet paid tribute to him when they heard the news.
Barnes also confirmed that Roger was buried on the ranch where he had spent his life.