Rangers kicked off a big search to find kangaroos that escaped from the Ballarat Wildlife Park following a burglary earlier today.
It’s believed up to 16 kangaroos hopped from the park on Fussell Street in Ballarat East after a man wearing a balaclava cut through fences before gaining entry overnight.
Detectives travelled to the scene later on Friday morning and have launched an investigation into the incident.
Park owner Greg Parker said CCTV footage showed the man rummaging through draws and cupboards in the park’s offices.
However, no money was taken in the incident.
The footage has since been handed over to police.
Mr Parker said he believed the man was looking for money and that animal rights activists were not behind the break-in.
A witness said she saw several kangaroos on Otway Street South about 8am.
“It’s not something I see every morning,” she said.
Mr Parker said most of the animals had been found in surrounding streets by about noon.
"We're going to do three counts through the day to make sure they're all back, there's 80 or so kangaroos in total here," he said.
The escaped animals were Kangaroo Island kangaroos, which have a chocolate brown coat, unlike eastern grey kangaroos that live in bushland around Ballarat.
Mr Parker thanked the community for its assistance during the search.
He urged residents to call 5333 5933 if any more brown kangaroos were seen.
A similar kangaroo escape after a burglary occurred at the park in 2008.