The kangaroo is a marsupial from the family Macropodidae. It is a very popular native animal of Australia that it has become its national symbol. Its emblem is used on the Australian coat of arms, on some of its currency, as well as by some of Australia's best known organisations, such as Qantas.Image: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0d/Kangaroo_and_joey03.jpg

Australia police used pepper spray to overpower an aggressive kangaroo after it attacked a 94-year-old woman in her backyard on Sunday.

"I thought it was going to kill me," Phyllis Johnson told the Courier-Mail newspaper from her hospital bed following the attack in the outback Queensland town of Charleville. The animal bowled her over as she was hanging out her laundry.

The elderly woman told reporters she thought she was going to die as the "red roo," which can jump more than nine meters in one leap, knocked her to the ground and kicked her several times.

She said she had walked out from the small flat where she lives in Charleville to hang up the washing, and as the violent attack took place, she said she kept thinking the animal would kill her. "It was taller than me and it just ploughed through the clothes on the washing line straight for me," she told the paper.

"I happened to have a broom nearby and I just started swinging at it. I bashed it on the head but it kept going for me. Not even the dog would help, it was too frightened."

Bruised and bleeding, she managed to crawl to her flat and alert her son, who called the police.

Police Sergeant Stephen Perkins said two officers were sent to assist the woman.

"Upon alighting from the car the kangaroo approached one of the officers, the kangaroo was aggressive and the officer had to deploy his capsicum spray to subdue the animal," Perkins told Reuters.

The kangaroo initially retreated but spotted the second police officer and bounded toward him, forcing the officer to spray a second time.

Perkins said it was common to use pepper spray to subdue aggressive dogs, but unusual to be used on an angry kangaroo.

Interviewed from her hospital bed where she is recovering from the attack, Johnson said, "I wasn't planning to come here, but I was pretty bruised and scratched up.

"I've always had a soft spot for 'roos," she added. "I used to feed them next door, give them some bread and they've always been so gentle. They weren't as big as that one, though, and they've never gone for me like that. This one seemed to target me. It was putting its feet into me and kicking."

Big Reds are one of Australia's largest kangaroo species and males can weigh more than 80kg and stand more than 1.5 metres (4'9'') tall. They rarely stray into urbanized areas.