Thank you, National Capital Authority

National Carillon on Lake Burley Griffin Bridge to Bridge Gary Lum

Last Monday I walked around the middle section of Lake Burley Griffin (commonly known as a bridge-to-bridge walk) and came across a dead animal near the National Carillon. [I’ll insert the photograph at the bottom of this post so you aren’t grossed out too early and this sentence is basically an alert.]

National Carillon on Lake Burley Griffin Bridge to Bridge Gary Lum
National Carillon on Lake Burley Griffin

Asking social media for assistance

I posted a photograph to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram asking what it might be.

I received all manner of responses that covered the three main extant mammalian groups, i.e.,

  • Subclass Prototheria (containing the Order Monotremata), [Platypus]
  • Cohort Marsupialia, and [Wombat, Possum {Opossum for American friends}, Quoll]
  • Cohort Placentalia. [Rabbit, Water rat]

What could it be?

Except for the quoll, I thought each suggestion was reasonable. The artificial lakes and the surrounding bushland of Canberra are home to many mammal species. The Molonglo River is the afferent waterway to Lake Burley Griffin and a home to some platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus). If you drive around the south of Canberra a sad sight is dead wombats bloating on the side of roads with their legs up. If you walk around Lake Burley Griffin at dusk and dawn you’ll see lots of rabbits and occasionally if you see a disturbance in the water especially near floating rubbish, you’ll see dirty big water rats. Possums are all over Canberra and at dawn, you can often see them scurrying about ready to quickly climb a tree. Occasionally, you’ll also see a fox on the streets of Canberra, usually at night. No one on social media mentioned a fox as a possibility.

To the rescue, the National Capital Authority

Shortly after posting the photograph, the National Capital Authority Facebook account contacted me asking for a location so that a contractor could be sent out to retrieve the animal for disposal. Fortunately, the EXIF metadata for that photograph contained the GPS coordinates (see the Facebook post below) and I was able to share that information. It was after that, that the animal was identified as a wombat. Poor thing, I really like wombats. They are so very cute. If you want to support native animal rescue, they sell calendars of wombats to help fund their work.
If you click on this embedded Facebook image you should be able to see the conversation I had with the kind people at the NCA.

Canberra or the Australian Capital Territory is a self-governing territory of Australia, however, some parts of Canberra, especially the important parts like the Parliamentary Zone, the Defence and security areas, the foreshore of Lake Burley Griffin and the diplomatic precinct come under the planning authority of the National Capital Authority.

The NCA is an Australian Government agency (not part of the ACT Government) and is responsible for the national land of Canberra. They are really unsung heroes, keeping the important parts of Canberra maintained and in good order for the Australian Government, for Australia and for Australians.

Lessons learnt

As a result of seeing this dead wombat, I’ve learnt that platypus occupy parts of the Molonglo River and platypuses have been found in LBG before; wombats don’t just die from being hit by motor vehicles but they can also drown in Canberra’s artificial waterways; and the National Capital Authority has an important role in the life of Canberra.

Dead animal Lake Burley Griffin Bridge to Bridge Gary Lum
Dead animal Lake Burley Griffin

Gary Lum QR Code

Subscribe to my mailing list and get an e-mail each time a post is released

* indicates required

Email Format

Powered by MailChimp