A wallaby is on the hop in Williamstown.
There has been a confirmed sighting at Williamstown Botanic Gardens, and a member of the public believes they may have seen the same wallaby at Jawbone Conservation Reserve.
Williamstown Botanic Gardens head gardener Michael Wilkins was arriving for work about 6.20am on Tuesday when he saw what he thought was a kangaroo.
It jumped across a path just metres from the main gates at the corner of Osborne and Giffard streets.
Mr Wilkins, who has worked at the gardens for nearly 25 years, at first thought he was dreaming.
“It came out of the bushes, went straight across past the big botryoides tree and just disappeared,” he said.
“So, I go running through. Lost sight of him.
“Thought it was a kangaroo, of course, because it was bouncing along.
“When I saw it again, about 20 minutes later, it was over on the far side of the gardens and it was definitely a wallaby.
“He was a reasonable size; a nice-looking brown and black wallaby.”
Mr Wilkins said he last saw the wallaby heading towards Fearon Reserve.
“This is my 32nd year at the council and this is my 25th year in here and I’ve never seen a wallaby,” he said.
“I think I got a bit of a shock because you normally walk around at that hour of the day not expecting to see much – we might see the occasional possum.
“It had me on the hop – boom, boom.”
Wildlife Victoria chief executive Megan Davidson said it may have been a swamp wallaby. She said there had been no further reported sightings.
“There is a nature reserve just a little bit further along the coast that it might have come from, and hopefully that’s where it’s gone back because I don’t think the botanic gardens is a very good place for it,” Ms Davidson said.
“There’s not much space for macropods left in Melbourne but we occasionally get reports of them well into urban areas.
“Sometimes, they follow the coast and they follow creeks – anywhere there’s a bit of bush.
“Sometimes, it’s a male looking for a bit of territory.
“It’s a bit of a mystery at the moment.”
Anyone who sees the wallaby should call Wildlife Victoria on 8400 7300.