Wallaby bounds through Chatswood streets

The wallaby spotted outside Chatswood Public School on Tuesday. Photo: Joanne Finlay
Perhaps this is the Sydney of foreigners' imaginations: a city in which wallabies sprint down streets in busy suburbs.

But North Shore resident Joanne Finlay was taken aback when she saw one burst into sight at Chatswood about 1pm on Tuesday.

Local resident Joanne Finlay said the wallaby looked "scared witless". Photo: Joanne Finlay

Heading from the direction of the Pacific Highway, it sped down Centennial Avenue outside Chatswood Public Primary school for 30 seconds before hanging a right into Whitton Road.

"It looked scared witless," Ms Finlay said. She just had time to photograph the wallaby, the only one she has seen in 20 years spent living in the area.

Will Meikle, a curator at Wildlife Sydney Zoo, said it was most likely an adult swamp wallaby, a relatively common species around Sydney's north-east. It may have emerged from the Lane Cove National Park at the other end of Centennial Avenue.

"It's probably been chased out of the park by a fox or a dog, or it's found itself on the edge of the park and it's been spooked and gone the wrong way," Mr Meikle said.

He worried it would end up being run over. "Road kill is a big issue for peri-urban and urban wallabies," he said.

Mr Meikle said wallaby and kangaroo habitat would continue to decline as more bushland is made available for development, particularly in Sydney's south-west.

In related macropod news, a wallaby hopped into Canberra's Belconnen police station on Tuesday.

"The wallaby was cool, calm and collected, happily reporting for duty," an ACT Policing spokesperson said on Facebook.


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WildLife Rules!: Wallaby bounds through Chatswood streets
Wallaby bounds through Chatswood streets
WildLife Rules!
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