21 September 2021

Watch this morning's rescue of a kangaroo from Lake Burley Griffin

| Damien Larkins
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A kangaroo thanks its rescuers at Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra

While the kangaroo seemed glad to be out, it went back in the freezing lake two more times. Photo: David Boyd.

A kangaroo has been rescued three times in one morning from the freezing waters of Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra.

Members of the public came across the shivering marsupial in waters by the Captain Cook fountain around 5:30 am on Tuesday.

The temperature in Canberra was -1.5 degrees at the time, according to the Bureau of Meteorology, with an apparent temperature of -6 degrees.

READ ALSO TikTok video shows kangaroos taking over Canberra’s city centre

Former Navy officer Angus Mitchell was cycling by the scene, stopped and sprang into action.

“Myself and another guy just went in and got him out,” he told Region Media. “We got him out and he was fine.

“I then came back about half an hour later and he’d jumped back in again, so with another guy, we got him out again.

“We had to get him out about three times until the rangers came.”

It was Mr Mitchell’s first ride in Canberra since recently arriving from Brisbane to take up his new role as Chief Commissioner of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

“Fortunately, it was quite shallow there. I had no idea how deep the lake was,” he says.

“He was pretty intent on getting back into the lake. He was obviously very panicky and it was freezing in there. He was a bit hypothermic as well, I think.”

Rescuing wildlife from freezing waters isn’t something Mr Mitchell usually does, but he’s taking it all in stride.

“The fact that he came over to us, he did want to get out, but there was nowhere for him to be able to,” he says.

“Hopefully, he’ll get released somewhere a little bit warmer for him and he’ll be fine.”

READ ALSO Don’t turn your heater off just yet: there’s cold wind and snow on the way

Defence recruiter David Boyd was out on his daily walk around the lake and filmed the rescue.

“He was absolutely shivering and obviously in distress,” he says.

“While I was on the phone … these two gentlemen rocked up and basically started stripping off.”

The kangaroo rescue drew quite a crowd.

“He got a bit of a fan club. He had a few people hanging around looking at him and talking to him,” he says.

Mr Mitchell says the rangers were going to release the kangaroo somewhere away from the lake.

If you find injured, sick or orphaned native wildlife, contact ACT Wildlife on 0432 300 033.

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Capital Retro9:42 am 23 Sep 21

……”do they look like they are getting married.”

Anything is possible now, in Canberra.

Well done, all you who stepped up.

Capital Retro12:54 pm 21 Sep 21

That kangaroo may be blind. It’s not uncommon and causes them to get separated from the mob, stumble and be unable to graze. They then fall into gullies and dams and eventually die.

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