Wandering wallaby 'Dora the Explorer' found safe after escaping from Cork sanctuary
A WANDERING wallaby nicknamed 'Dora the Explorer' has been brought back safe to the animal sanctuary from which it escaped.
Andrew Boyle, who runs the Araglin Animal Sanctuary on the Cork-Waterford border, said he was relieved the wallaby was brought home safe and sound this morning.
The animal was spotted in the early hours of the morning in Kilworth and a Good Samaritan local stayed with the animal until Andrew was able to drive to the spot and to bring it home.
"We were away on holidays. With the animals it is extremely difficult to get away. I had someone looking after the animals and it was our first holiday in years.
"We have seven wallabies and someone this one (Dora) managed to get out."
The wallaby had been on the run for almost a week.
"This morning I got a phone call at 6am from Eoin Hislop who spotted her in Kilworth village and he was the hero of the day.
"She was on the road and when I got the call and made it up there, she had gone into a front garden.
"My wife managed to grab her by the tail and between us we managed to get her into the car and home safely."
Andrew paid tribute to the members of the public who had been vigilant as to Dora's whereabouts.
The wallaby seemed to revel in her freedom - and managed to travel almost 10km in less than a day.
"It was a little strange - there was loads of forestry up around Gorse Lodge and Red Hill but she pretty much stuck to the roadway and made her way down towards Kilworth village.
"It was great for me because if she had gone into the forestry we might never have seen her again.
"My concern was that she would get distressed or possibly injured. But she is back home now safe and without a scratch on her."
Incredibly, wallabies are able to adapt to Ireland's climate - and there is now a successful wild colony of wallabies on Lambay Island in Dublin Bay where they had been released in the early 1970s.
"They are thriving out there - and there are successful colonies of wallabies in both Scotland and England."