well I'll be... wallaby on the bridge
January 15, 2018 8:56 PM   Subscribe

 
I hope they read him his rights!
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 9:08 PM on January 15, 2018


Is Australia really so civilized to be astonished by this? The US has cougars living basically in Los Angeles, a growing problem with coyotes who are learning to intermesh with extending suburban populations, the whole "the deer are eating my garden" problem might go across the country.

But those hopping animals... well, we have bunnies!
posted by hippybear at 9:10 PM on January 15, 2018 [3 favorites]


Like other macropods swamp wallabies are more active at dawn and dusk, Ms Harris said, and it may have been spooked by a car or a person and ended up on the bridge by mistake.
I’ve only lived in Sydney for a few years and this happens to me All. The. Time.
posted by um at 9:31 PM on January 15, 2018 [16 favorites]


I live in Sydney and walk around the northern bush areas all the time - often at dawn and dusk times. Never seen one in any of these bushlands.

So, it is slightly surprising to me. Especially as it is actually quite hard to get onto the bridge with an eight-lane highway at both ends. The poor, frightened animal must have travelled a fair distance to get stuck on the bridge.

Out of Sydney... that's a different story. A lot of my family live in rural area. Seeing roos in any of these areas is all too common. Grazing in fields, hopping over fences, racing in front of cars at night and scaring the hell out of people... the usual.

The most unusual encounter I've ever had was walking over a headland at a beach south of Sydney. As I walked along the winding bush track in the early morning I suddenly came across a full grown, muscle-bound male roo on the track. He was standing upright, staring at me with a rather "pissed off" expression.
posted by greenhornet at 10:06 PM on January 15, 2018 [2 favorites]


Hippybear, that is the equivalent of a deer trotting down the I-5 express lanes through Capitol Hill and over the West Seattle bridge. That wallaby is a long way from home and took some seriously strange turns to get there.
posted by N-stoff at 10:07 PM on January 15, 2018 [4 favorites]


Hippybear, that is the equivalent of...

... a lot of things I know nothing about. That isn't where I live, not even close by hundreds of miles.
posted by hippybear at 10:23 PM on January 15, 2018 [2 favorites]


It probably found that its gps cut out right when it hit downtown Sydney and there was nowhere to pull over and check the map and then suddenly it was being funnelled onto the bridge with no way to turn off... or is that just me?
posted by lollusc at 10:33 PM on January 15, 2018 [28 favorites]


But those hopping animals... well, we have bunnies!

Nothing a little myxomatosis and haemorrhagic disease can’t fix.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:37 PM on January 15, 2018


I always had the opposite problem: I could never find the damn bridge and repeatedly ended up in Redfern.
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:46 PM on January 15, 2018 [3 favorites]


Yeah, we have plenty of bushland in the city but I've never seen wallabies there. The inner city harbour area is pretty built up - Los Angeles is a lot sprawlier (word?). It'd be different if this was in the outer suburbs.

The harbour bridge area is a really weird place to see one, super built up. It was heading in a sensible direction though. Getting on the western distributor would've been really bad decision.
posted by kitten magic at 1:40 AM on January 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


... a lot of things I know nothing about. That isn't where I live, not even close by hundreds of miles.

Oh now come on :) you live in the PacNW, saying you don't know I-5 is a bit of a stretch. Especially since it's a pretty good comparison – Sydney is "only" a city of 5 million, and like our US West Coast cities, is surrounded by a lot of nature. And yet you don't see much wildlife approaching our main interstate inside the cities. Outside is even still rare – I can't recall ever seeing a deer try to cross I-5, even along the more remote stretches. Heck I never saw one along the highway between Spfld and Eugene either, and yet there were plenty who would visit my friends' homes in Eugene.

Poor wallaby must have been pretty scared. Glad they're taking care of it.
posted by fraula at 1:40 AM on January 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


Here in NZ wallabies are officially noxious animals, and should be shot on sight
posted by mbo at 2:02 AM on January 16, 2018


A couple of decades ago a colleague who was driving home at night saw a "kangaroo" bouncing on the road. He told his wife and several people, who all said he must have been hallucinating, because France is a long way from Australia. It turns out that wallabies are good at escaping from zoos (the Bennett's wallaby is a staple of small zoological parks because it's a low-maintenance and popular animal) so runaway wallabies have been spooking French (and German) drivers for a while. The "I saw a kangaroo and nobody believed me" story pops up every year or so in rural France, though it's more "I saw a kangaroo and took pics with my smartphone" these days. In fact, there's now a wild population of about 100-150 wallabies living in the Rambouillet forest, 40 km southwest of Paris and pranksters even put kangaroo road signs in the area.
posted by elgilito at 2:21 AM on January 16, 2018 [23 favorites]


Wallabys on the Harbour Bridge are like breaking the fourth wall between Australians who live in the cities and those who don't. All of us latter people have to frequently deal with random wallaby/kangaroo/emu/wombat/echidna possibilities and incidents but when it happens to city people it's like "whoa!" Ok, the French experience in elgilito's comment is outside the norm but Australians? Come on, Aussies, come on. You've known about macropods for centuries. Why act so surprised? You think you've mastered, controlled and limited the landscape that much?
posted by Thella at 2:38 AM on January 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


Roos are entirely commonplace in Canberra, even on the hill around Parliament House. Wallabies too. But the bridge is a different story. When emus show up in Martin Place I'll be worried.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 3:42 AM on January 16, 2018


The commute must be pretty bad in Sydney if this guy here decided take a hop over at 5AM. We’ve all been there, I guess.
posted by the cydonian at 4:25 AM on January 16, 2018


Aw, this little dude must have been so scared and tired. I've read good things about the Taronga Zoo so I checked to see if they had any info - their twitter account says he's in "serious but stable condition" in their wildlife hospital. (Also there's a picture!)
posted by Mizu at 5:56 AM on January 16, 2018 [5 favorites]


You guys are all Australian? Hey, cool! You must know my buddy Tim, right?
posted by Naberius at 7:07 AM on January 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


I've never seen a wallaby in Sydney. Bats, yes. Ibises, absolutely. Possums, definitely. Tigers, once or twice. There's an annoying quetzocotl hanging around that fucks up the electricals, but better it than magpies. Never any wallabies.
posted by Merus at 7:21 AM on January 16, 2018


Here in NZ wallabies are officially noxious animals, and should be shot on sight

That's a bit rough. Wasn't winning the Bledisloe Cup again enough for you lot?
posted by zamboni at 7:25 AM on January 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


Tigers, once or twice.

wait, what?
posted by AFABulous at 9:43 AM on January 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


One vote to unmute the music while watching the news footage of the lil hopper.
posted by travertina at 10:52 AM on January 16, 2018


That's a bit rough. Wasn't winning the Bledisloe Cup again enough for you lot?

Remember all our native land mammals can fly .... anything else is an interloper ... the rock wallaby that's officially noxious in NZ is officially endangered in Oz .... please come and take them back.

We'd like something similar done with the opossums, they ruin our bush, I'm in favour of a law requiring every Aussie tourist to take 6 opossums with them when they leave, we already provide them in convenient coat form
posted by mbo at 11:20 AM on January 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


I live in the middle suburbs of Melbourne (not that far out) and I regularly see kangaroos in the parks and golf course near my house. Kangaroos really love golf courses, though they're not that fond of golfers.

You guys are all Australian? Hey, cool! You must know my buddy Tim, right?
Tim is delicious
posted by daybeforetheday at 11:26 AM on January 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


I MUST KNOW ABOUT THE AUSTRALIAN TIGERS
posted by AFABulous at 11:52 AM on January 16, 2018


Between the venomous snakes, venomous spiders, venomous octopodes, venomous jellyfish, man-eating crocodiles, and arsonist birds, I'm sure the animal control officer was relieved that it was just a wallaby.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:12 PM on January 16, 2018


Not really. TheWhiteSkull. Wallabies are notorious for carrying switchblades in their pouches.
posted by Quindar Beep at 12:27 PM on January 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


Wallabies are notorious for carrying switchblades in their pouches.

They're a dangerous breed, mate.
posted by zamboni at 12:41 PM on January 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


I MUST KNOW ABOUT THE AUSTRALIAN TIGERS

We killed them all. Sorry.
posted by zamboni at 12:43 PM on January 16, 2018


The real question is: did an elephant sit on you on the Harbour Bridge?
posted by GuyZero at 12:46 PM on January 16, 2018


You guys are all Australian? Hey, cool! You must know my buddy Tim, right?

It’s Australia. Like every third guy is named Tim. In high school, I was in a class where literally 25% of the class was named Tim.

So yes, we know Tim.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 12:47 PM on January 16, 2018 [5 favorites]


(I thought that the next thing on the list being a mythical South American bird would have given away that the tigers were a play on the reputation of Australia being filled with dangers)
posted by Merus at 1:30 PM on January 16, 2018


Wallabies are notorious for carrying switchblades in their pouches.

That's just to fight off the dropbears
posted by mbo at 2:13 PM on January 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


Is Australia really so civilized to be astonished by this?

Sydneysiders are constantly astonished by anything natural, in my experience. It's a bit odd that it was on the bridge, same way that, I don't know, a moose would be weird to see on the Golden Gate, but with 4 million people incessantly breeding and believing they need to own a house, there's not really anywhere left for the wallabies to go but on the bridge.
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:37 PM on January 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


It’s Australia. Like every third guy is named Tim. In high school, I was in a class where literally 25% of the class was named Tim.


The rest are called Dave.
posted by kitten magic at 3:33 PM on January 16, 2018


So there are a lot of Daves and Tims around (also Matts) but as a teacher, the new names are *Ayden, Tyler and Bailey. (Kayden, Kaden, Aiden, Ayden and Hayden were all boys I taught last year.)
posted by freethefeet at 4:08 PM on January 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


They’re not all called Bruce any more?
posted by Anne Neville at 6:19 PM on January 16, 2018


The rest are called Dave.

O. Davo.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:50 PM on January 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


I once saw a hippybear hopping along the I-5 express lanes and across the West Seattle Bridge. Poor thing had no idea how he got there and was probably hundreds of miles from home.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:09 PM on January 16, 2018 [3 favorites]


According to the Guardian, the infamous toll-evader, Syd the swamp wallaby, has been released by wildlife staff into bushland at Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.
posted by Thella at 10:01 PM on January 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


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