A woman will undergo surgery to repair ruptured breast implants after they were damaged in a kangaroo attack in South Australia last week.
Sharon Heinrich was cycling along the Riesling Trail, one of the Clare Valley's most picturesque and popular areas, with her good friend Helen Salter when she noticed a kangaroo standing up on a ledge.
Without warning the huge marsupial leaped onto the trail, knocking both women off their bikes.
"I saw him and thought 'oh isn't he cute' – then he was on top of me," Mrs Heinrich said.
The kangaroo, which Mrs Heinrich suspects was a male buck based on its size, landed on top of Mrs Heinrich before using its powerful legs to leap off again into Ms Salter.
"I'm 5'4" and he was taller than me, and so heavy," she said.
"Once he landed on me, he used me to launch off again, which caused more damage."
As well as the ruptured breast implants, the ordeal left Mrs Heinrich with three cracked ribs, grazes all over her body and kangaroo paw scratch marks down her back while Ms Salter suffered a concussion.
As they were without their phones, Miss Salter had to go to the nearby town of Penwortham to seek help, while Mrs Heinrich was cared for by some tourists, who were also on the trail.
A local business was able to call an ambulance and Mrs Heinrich was rushed to hospital where a surgeon told her she was lucky to have survived the run-in with the kangaroo.
"When the surgeon saw me in Adelaide he said I was lucky to be alive – kangaroos are solid muscle and incredibly powerful. When he landed he went completely through me, if he had become caught in the bike the outcome could have been a lot different," she said.
Mrs Heinrich told the ABC she will return to Adelaide from Clare for surgery on Thursday to repair the damaged implants.
"They [the implants] are silicon and saline, and the saline will just go through your body, but the silicon now congeals so it stays within the area but it's very painful, it's up there with cracked ribs," she said.
"I'm scared and I'm not ready for the pain on top of the cracked ribs, because they're actually right behind that area, but at the end of the day you've just got to keep going."
The incident has left Mrs Heinrich, who works in a nursing home in the area, calling for kangaroo warning signs to be placed on the trail.
"I live on a farm in the region, I know kangaroos are around here," she said.
"But tourists from the city have no idea – I really think there needs to be signs placed along the trail to warn people about them.
"They jump without warning and at the last minute – people need to be careful."
"There is also talks in the town of the plague number of kangaroos around and hopefully something can be looked at before we have a more serious situation."
However, she urged anyone wanting to do the Riesling Trail not to be put off by the attack.
"Please don't let anybody be scared, because it was a beautiful, beautiful ride before 'Skip' played," she told the ABC.
Mrs Heinrich was able to make light of the situation when she took a photo on the Riesling Trail with a stuffed toy boxing kangaroo her husband gave her as a memento of the incident.
- with the Northern Argus.