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.
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.”
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.