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Australia's famously buff Kangaroo, Roger, dies aged 12

Internet-famous Roger, who was rescued as an orphaned joey and grew up to be the world’s most buff kangaroo, has died aged 12.

“It’s a very sad day here today, for we have lost our beautiful boy Roger,” wrote The Kangaroo Sanctuary in Alice Springs in a Facebook post on Saturday (Dec 8).

The sanctuary, which lies in the heart of central Australia, said that the well-loved kangaroo had died of old age.

“He lived a lovely long life and was loved by millions around the world,” the post read.

Roger became an orphan after his mother was killed in a car accident on a highway in 2006.

He was rescued from his mother’s pouch by former national park tour guide Chris “Brolga” Barnes, who went on to set up the 188-acre sanctuary to care for him, reported the Washington Post.

Eventually, Roger grew to an impressive height of more than 2m and weighed 89kg, boasting a muscular stature that set him apart from other male kangaroos.

He wielded an undeniable charm in the sanctuary, which currently has over 50 kangaroos, and soon became the alpha male of the herd with 12 partners.

In 2015, Roger shot to fame on the Internet after a video of him crushing a metal bucket with his bare paws went viral, reported the BBC.

Mr Barnes said of the famous photo that made Roger an Australian icon: “I was feeding Roger and put down the bucket to get some water.

“He maybe saw his reflection, and before I knew it he had gone crazy and bear hugged it – crushing it in a second. A big kangaroo is renowned for crushing dogs trying to kill them. They don’t mess.”

Roger ❤️ ?? When Roger was alpha boss male his height when standing was about 2 metres (6ft 7) – same height as me. The clucking noise he is making is telling me to get away from his lady kangaroos. And the red on his neck is a scent that males rub onto trees etc to mark their territory.

A post shared by The Kangaroo Sanctuary (@thekangaroosanctuary) on

But in a video a year later, the sanctuary revealed that the once sprightly marsupial was suffering from arthritis and failing eyesight, and had lost weight.

When the news of his death broke over the weekend, many netizensexpressed their sadness online, with some saying that they had regretted not making the visit to Alice Springs while he was still alive.

Mr Barnes told BBC that kangaroos can live up to 14 years old but they rarely reach that age in the wild.

“Life is much harder in the wild for an older kangaroo. When they get sick, the dingos, our wild dogs, will attack and eat them,” he added.

He said that Roger has been buried in the sanctuary, so that “he will always be here”, and be close to his family.

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