‘Collared kangaroo’ hopping down busy street baffles morning commuters

The commuter feared the large animal might be an illegal pet.

Seeing a 60kg marsupial bounding down a busy suburban street would be strange enough, but the animal filmed on Monday morning weirdly had a collar around its neck and a green tag on its ear.

Bleary-eyed morning commuter Keye Regan started filming the moment he saw what he thought was a kangaroo, but it wasn’t until the animal was close that he spotted the device attached to it. “It looked like it was some sort of tracking system. Or maybe somehow someone was illegally keeping it as a pet,” he told Yahoo of the incident in southwest Sydney.

Unsure how to help the animal, the 21-year-old warehouse worker Keye posted a short video of the animal to Facebook. “I didn’t report it because I didn’t want to miss my bus, but if anyone’s missing a roo, it’s hopping around Campbelltown Mall,” he wrote.

Left - close up of the roo with its collar and ear tag. Right - the animal hopping away.
The kangaroo was filmed in Campbelltown wearing a collar and green ear tag. Source: Keye Regan

On social media, the video quickly attracted intrigue and dozens of comments from locals fascinated by the collar. "That looks like a domestic animal," one person wrote. "Wait, this roo has a collar?" another added. "Poor soul. Hope he's okay," someone else said.

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Rescuers solve mystery of 'kangaroo' collar

Luckily, Keye’s post also caught the attention of local wildlife rescuers who offered to help. First on the scene was expert animal wrangler Slade Macklin. He quickly determined the animal was in fact a wallaroo, a largely solitary and nocturnal macropod species that looks like a cross between an eastern grey kangaroo and a fluffy wallaby.

Slade tracked the large male past a number of shops and into the car park near the suburb’s old Bunnings hardware store.

He believes the collar was attached during a tracking program about five years ago. While the devices were supposed to fall off it’s believed this one likely malfunctioned, leaving the animal with an annoying attachment around its neck.

Because the collar was relatively soft, there was little irritation around the wallaroo’s neck, and Slade was able to release him back into bushland after a health check.

More weird finds this week

Campbelltown's wildlife increasingly displaced by development

Sadly, animal rescues across the Campbelltown region are on the increase, and according to Slade there’s a very clear reason why.

“It’s the same thing constantly, there’s a lot of movement of wildlife. It seems to be because of all the development in the area, there’s a lot more animal activity,” he said.

“Along the side of the Hume Highway, you can see properties around Gilead and the Douglas Park area that were once scrub land or vegetation are being developed for housing.”

With wildlife frequently needing to be rescued around the Campbelltown area, there are several groups you can call for help.

Slade’s Total Fauna Solutions can be reached on 02 9188 8833. Ricardo’s Help Save the Wildlife and Bushlands in Campbelltown offers a koala rescue service on 0434 026 799.

WIRES rescues wildlife across NSW, and they have a 24-hour hotline 1300 094 737. Another number to save in your phone in Sydney is Sydney Wildlife Rescue, (02) 9413 4300.

More on Campbelltown's wildlife

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