A wallaby has been apprehended after hopping along the Sydney Harbour Bridge just before the city’s rush hour.
New South Wales police were called to the bridge shortly before 5am on Tuesday after motorists spotted the animal in lane eight at the northern end of the bridge.
Traffic controllers monitored the male adult swamp wallaby as it hopped over to lane one and exited on to the Cahill Expressway before making its way past Circular Quay to the Conservatorium of Music, police said.
“It’s thought the wayward wallaby might have made its way to the bridge from a golf course in Cammeray,” they said, a distance of about 13km.
Three officers were required to capture and contain the wallaby before officers from the mounted police unit drew on their animal handling skills to take it to Taronga zoo for treatment.
A Taronga zoo vet who checked over the marsupial said he was in good health. A full-body x-ray showed no significant injuries. The wallaby was given pain medication and fluids and placed in Taronga’s wildlife intensive care unit for recovery and further monitoring.
A driver named Ray told 2GB: “It was just standing there minding its own business, there was a police car with flashing lights. I’m from the bush, I’m used to seeing them running all over the place, but I’ve never seen one so close in the city before.”
The wallaby joins the increasingly crowded ranks of animals on the loose in Australian cities. In 2014 two water buffalo ran down King Street in Sydney’s Newtown after escaping a film set. Last year a camel ran away from the circus in Darwin, legging it down the main drag of Bagot Road. Also last year, a cow got “off the leash” at an RUOK Day event outside Perth’s parliament house.
Internationally, Periscope audiences were enthralled as Hong Kong police spent more than three hours trying to capture a wild boar in 2016, while the previous year two llamas were lassoed after running amok through Sun City, Arizona.
Australian Associated Press contributed to this report