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A boy with autism has been left traumatised and unwilling to speak after suffering injuries when defending his young sister from an aggressive kangaroo.
Five-year-old Cooper Heinz was playing outside the back of his parent's house in New South Wales on Monday when the animal attacked him, leaving him with severe scratches.
His three-year-old sister Georgia had accidentally spooked a number of kangaroos when she came out of the house to join him, but instead of running off, one of the marsupials stayed around and became violent.
The five-foot-tall kangaroo first stared Georgia down, but then decided to attack, their mother Holly Madden told the Daily Mail
Then, while getting his sister out of harm's way by shouting at her to move, Cooper sprang into action instinctively.
Ms Madden explained: "He was so brave, He was running and yelling, 'run Georgia, run'."
The brave youngster managed to put himself between the kangaroo and his sister, but instead the animal pounced on him.
His horrified mother, who was also in the garden around 25 metres away, could only watch on in horror as the large kangaroo kicked her son over and began to bounce on his head.
She continued: "Cooper tried to get back up and I told him to lay down because the kangaroo kicked him down again.
"I freaked out and grabbed a cricket bat and started running and screaming trying to get the kangaroo to stop."
At this, the kangaroo eventually went away, but Cooper was still left with deep scratches on his arms, all around his body, and even on his head.
Now, he hasn't spoken to anyone but his immediate family since the attack.
Ms Madden added: "He has autism but he's usually very good at talking to other people, but since it happened he's not talking to anyone."
As well as Cooper's trauma, Georgia now remains scared that the kangaroo will come back and get her, and both kids won't play outside of the house.
Their mother said: "On Monday night we were running a bath and Georgia put her hands over her ears and told everyone to 'be quiet or the big kangaroo will hear'."
She said that kangaroos are quite commonplace around their property, but that they never expected that one would ever attack anyone.
She concluded: "I'm just glad I was outside at the time.
"Had I been inside the house or further away I don't know what would have happened."
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