Friday 30 September 2016

You bounder! Wallaby one leap ahead as police roo failure to catch it

Published 28/09/2015 | 16:50

The fugitive marsupial is now thought to be a wallaby (Gloucestershire Police/PA)
The fugitive marsupial is now thought to be a wallaby (Gloucestershire Police/PA)

A wallaby is still missing after avoiding police capture when officers spotted it on a residential street.

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The Australian marsupial was discovered in Dursley, Gloucestershire, at about 9.30pm on Saturday night.

Officers joined in the hunt and spied the animal on the Uley Road, as well as gardens in Blackhills and Stanthill Drive.

It was last seen heading towards a wooded area near Woodmancote and officers appealed for the owners to come forward.

Members of the public have been urged not to approach the "strong and powerful" animal, which may be distressed.

A spokeswoman for Gloucestershire Police said: "He or she is still outstanding.

"After it got away on Saturday night we haven't had any sightings.

"Since then it is a mystery as to where it has gone."

Police officers are not out searching for the animal but anyone who spots it is urged to contact the force.

Initially, there was confusion over the type of animal found by police, with initial reports suggesting it was a kangaroo.

The force tweeted: "Bit of an unusual one. If anyone has lost a kangaroo in the Dursley area please contact us on 101 and quote incident 462. We have found one!

"Kangaroo update - we have it cornered 'outback' of a house in Woodmancote but no owner identified yet.

"Not the usual bouncers that we're interacting with on a Saturday night."

A mob of wallabies is kept at Woodchester - about eight miles from Dursley - and some have been seen bouncing around the village over the past five years.

Other sightings have been made in Nailsworth, but it is not known whether the missing wallaby belongs to this mob or somewhere else.

Hartpury College, in Gloucestershire, has confirmed its collection of wallabies were "tucked up safely in their enclosure this weekend".

Grace Watkins, head of department for animal management at Hartpury, said: "I know there's been some speculation that this wallaby could be one that escaped from Hartpury in 2012, but that is highly unlikely.

"There are a number of collections closer to the Dursley area that the little bouncer could have escaped from.

"Provided there's a decent supply of grass and water available, it should be fine, but as we approach winter, it will need extra food and shelter so I hope it is found soon.

"I know Gloucestershire Police originally tweeted that they had been trying to capture a kangaroo but there's a big difference in characteristics between them and wallabies, not least their size, and I'm sure it would have been a wallaby."

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