SYDNEY, Jan 16, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – A wallaby startled motorists Tuesday when it hopped across Sydney’s Harbour Bridge, closely tailed by police.
Drivers spotted the marsupial, which resembles a smaller version of a kangaroo, bouncing along at the northern end of the eight-lane bridge just before 5:00 am (1600 GMT).
“Never seen anything like it. That’s Australia for you,” a caller to Sydney radio station 2GB, Dean, said.
Another caller, Michelle, said she was worried a car would hit the creature.
“I thought, ‘No way can you see a kangaroo in the city like that. I only see them in the country,” she added.
Traffic controllers monitored the wallaby as it bounded off the bridge onto an expressway and made its way to a city centre street, where several police officers cornered it.
The animal was then taken to Taronga Zoo for assessment.
Vets at Taronga identified the native animal as an adult male swamp wallaby, and said it was initially sedated after arriving “quite distressed”.
“I elected … to give it an injection so it was asleep because it was very stressed,” senior veterinarian Larry Vogelnest told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
“Then I examined it thoroughly. Fortunately there didn’t seem to be any significant injuries. It had some minor grazes on its face and its hind legs,” he added.
Police said the wallaby might have come from a golf course in the suburb of Cammeray, which is more than three kilometres (two miles) north of the bridge.
It is set to be monitored by the zoo’s hospital for a day before being released in bushland where other swamp wallabies live, the ABC reported.