Leave something alone for five minutes and we know what’s going on. Leave Canberra alone for five minutes and there will literally be kangaroos on the streets.
Five weeks after the COVID-19 lockdown, it looks like nature is already regaining downtown.
A local Uber driver, Umair Rehmat, shared a video with his social media account of three kangaroos jumping through an empty street in the Civic.
Umair encountered the marsupial trio during his night shift with the transport provider, snapping a 15-second video from his car and uploading it as a scroll to his TikTok account.
The caption reads: “Canberra lockdown be like [crazy face emojis] the city is for kangaroos now. ”
So far, the video has been played 180,000 times, received 17,600 likes and been shared more than 3,000 times.
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Many of the 394 comments mention how little time it took for the kangaroos to regain the city, as well as how this only confirms the high stories other countries have heard about Australia.
“That’s why foreigners think we have kangaroos everywhere,” reads a comment.
“Finally, the kangaroos get the chance to check out what the hairless tall hikers have done at the site,” reads another.
An eagle-eyed viewer noted that the kangaroos were very compatible and even “stopped at the red light and waited for the light to turn green”.
Although some people also pointed out that they apparently ignored the sign banning a right turn.
Others suggested that they break health restrictions by being out and about without masks, and that perhaps vaccination should be extended to cover kangaroos.
Then there was the simple comment: “I miss Canberra.”
The Eastern Gray Kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) is the most common species for ACT, as the region has some of the highest population densities in south-eastern Australia.
However, this means that ACT also comes with the highest number of cases between kangaroos and motorists.
Tracing studies reveal that kangaroos are nomadic and do not hesitate to move around in search of richer food sources while still being faithful to a particular area.
Pictures from the first two weeks of ACT’s COVID-19 lockdown show how quiet the streets were, how normally busy roads became silent as Canberrans followed the health advice and stayed home where possible.
Essential workers and grocery retailers were about the only people spotted driving around the city, as evidenced by a series of images from traffic cameras released by the ACT government.
However, when the restrictions were eased on September 2, 2021, people have been able to meet up to five others in public outdoor areas. This has been accompanied by an increase in traffic along Canberra’s arterial roads.
Enjoy it, as long as it lasts, kangaroos. We’ll be back.