Roger the kangaroo was an imposing figure. He stood at six-feet-seven, weighed nearly 200 pounds, and rocketed to internet fame in 2015 after crushing a metal bucket with his bare paws. This wild and threatening-looking marsupial was deeply beloved by humans around the world.
When Roger died over the weekend (Dec. 8), his homo sapien fans took to the internet to mourn. One Twitter user wistfully said her dreams of meeting Roger were “now shattered.” Another hoped Roger was “bench pressing God in heaven now.” Others paid tribute by praising him as a “stunning specimen.”
“It’s a sad day here today,” Chris Barnes, the founder of Kangaroo Sanctuary in Alice Springs, Australia where Roger lived, said in a Facebook video. “We have lost our beautiful boy, Roger.” He died of natural causes aged 12, Barnes said. (The average lifespan of a red kangaroo like Roger is 22 years in the wild, and 16 in captivity.)
Barnes rescued Roger when he was just a joey—Roger’s mother was killed by a car and Barnes found the little ‘roo inside his dead mother’s pouch. In the video announcing Roger’s death, Barnes explained that he built the Kangaroo Sanctuary to give Roger and his wives a place to live. BBC reports that at the time of Roger’s death, he had 12 partners and there were more than 50 kangaroos on the site. Roger’s rippling muscles helped him attract lady kangaroos, National Geographic had reported.
Even though Roger was known for his buff physique, his size and weight was typical of an alpha-male red kangaroo. PBS notes that some kangaroos can even grow to eight feet in height. Roger’s online fame, largely thanks to Barnes’ regular updates on social media, set him apart. Even the Australian government’s tourism agency commemorated him as a “true icon.”
Roger’s legacy will clearly live on: One Twitter user said that he would try and adopt Roger’s alpha-male personality the next time he is mistreated at work and another said that Roger had already visited his dreams.
In his final days, even as he reportedly suffered from poor vision and arthritis, Roger remained as photogenic as ever. Roger’s last image already has over 124,000 likes on Instagram, with the more than 6,000 comments offering prayers, praising his “beautiful life,” and expressing grief about his demise.
Roger was laid to rest under a tree in the Kangaroo Sanctuary so “could be with his family,” Barnes said.