Wayward wallaby gets the jump on Australian police at Sydney tourist spot

In this image released by Taronga Zoo Conservation Society, Dr. Larry Vogelnest, senior veterinarian at Taronga Zoo, checks a wallaby is checked at Taronga Wildlife Hospital in Sydney Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018. (AP)
Updated 16 January 2018
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Wayward wallaby gets the jump on Australian police at Sydney tourist spot

SYDNEY: Australians often joke that tourists expect to see kangaroos hopping across the Sydney Harbor Bridge but the joke was on police on Tuesday when a wayward wallaby led them in an early-morning chase across the famous landmark.
Police said they chased the mysterious marsupial on foot and in a car over the bridge before dawn before catching it in a downtown park and taking it to the city’s Taronga Zoo.
“Officers took the startled macropod into police custody ... with the police mounted unit arriving on scene soon after to take it to the zoo for veterinary assessment,” New South Wales Police said in a statement.
Video filmed from a pursuing patrol car showed the meter-high wallaby, which looks like a small kangaroo, hopping across the famous bridge.
A policeman stifled a laugh as he drove behind.
“Sydney’s got the best harbor in the world, so I’d imagine he was taking in the view,” police inspector Kylie Smith later told reporters. “We actually do have wallabies or kangaroos that jump down the main street of Sydney.”
Nicknamed “The Coathanger,” Sydney’s famous arch-span bridge opened in 1932 and, with 8 traffic lanes, 2 railway lines and a footpath and cycleway, is the main harbor crossing linking the city with its northern suburbs.
While wallabies and kangaroos are found in both rural and leafy suburban areas, it is highly unusual to see them in the middle of a major city.
“I’m from the ‘bush’ (rural Australia), so I’m used to see them running around all over the place but I’ve never seen one so close to the city before,” said a driver who gave his name as Ray, one of several people who called Sydney radio station 2GB.
Police said the wallaby probably began its city-bound journey at a golf club on the harbor’s north shore before it was spotted hopping south across the bridge in lane 8 at about 5 a.m. (1800 GMT Monday).
“Traffic controllers ... monitored the wallaby as it hopped across to lane 1 and, without indicating, exited onto Cahill Expressway then to Macquarie Street,” police said in a statement.
Larry Vogelnest, senior veterinarian at Taronga Zoo, said X-rays showed the wallaby had not suffered any serious injuries.
“The swamp wallaby remains in a stable condition at Taronga Wildlife Hospital’s intensive care unit ... our hope is that the wallaby will be able to be released back into the wild,” he said in a statement.


Prince Harry goes solo on royal tour as pregnant Meghan rests

Updated 29 min ago
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Prince Harry goes solo on royal tour as pregnant Meghan rests

  • The pair have already traveled to Sydney, Melbourne and the regional town of Dubbo since touching down in Australia last Monday
  • They are set to visit Fiji and Tonga after Fraser Island

FRASER ISLAND, Australia: Prince Harry greeted an Aboriginal community on the stunning World Heritage-listed Fraser Island Monday as his pregnant wife Meghan took a break from official duties during the royal couple’s Australian tour.
The pair have already traveled to Sydney, Melbourne and the regional town of Dubbo since touching down in Australia last Monday, drawing thousands of screaming fans to their events.
The visit to Fraser Island off the coast of Queensland state took on a different tone, as the Duke of Sussex was greeted with a traditional Aboriginal ceremony from the local Butchulla people on the peaceful shores of Lake McKenzie.
Harry later walked barefoot on the soft white sands of the lake, a source of drinking water for the Butchulla people, and splashed water on his face.
Fraser is the world’s largest sand island and the prince was due to unveil a plaque to dedicate the holiday site’s acres of rainforests to the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy project.
His visit will also touch on other environmental issues, a cause close to his father Prince Charles’ heart, when he meets with park rangers to learn more about the island’s plants and animals.
Later, he will meet with two Hervey Bay paramedics, who are being recognized for granting a dying woman’s final wish by taking her to the beach.
A photo of a paramedic beside a stretcher facing the ocean was posted on Facebook last year and went viral around the world.
The royal couple had earlier arrived in Queensland by plane before traveling to the island separately.
Harry boarded a barge, a route used by tourists to travel to the island, while the Duchess of Sussex took a different vessel and then retreated to a private residence.
Her choice of dress, a maroon number with white polka dots, sparked excitement in Queensland, as the deep brownish-red happens to also been the official color of the state.
The pair are due to visit Fiji and Tonga after Fraser Island.