Wild Wallaby: Watch the moment stunned man spots ‘kangaroo’ on the loose in frozen Yorkshire countryside
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A man out on a walk in a UK suburb was left stunned after seeing what he believed to be a kangaroo. James Ledger, 40, caused a stir on social media over the weekend after he spotted the animal hopping through a frozen field in Mosborough, Sheffield on Saturday morning (January 21).
Ledger, caught on camera what was actually a much smaller wallaby jumping in distinctive style across the landscape, before uploading the video toFacebook. He wrote: “Swear to god I’ve just seen a kangaroo in Mosborough!! What is this anyone???”
Hundreds expressed their amazement and shared the post as the footage went viral across the internet. However, as things appeared to calm down, reports of another marsupial on the loose came in, proving people who thought that would be the last they would see of the creature may have jumped to the wrong conclusion.
Nicholas Holmes from Eckington, but who lives in Newark, Nottinghamshire, posted that his pet kangaroo had got out of his pen and escaped. He wrote: “This is not a joke post”. He then included an image of a kangaroo on a suburban street.
He added: “I call him Duncan and he seems to respond to his name. He was spotted earlier in this picture around 11am in Eckington PLEASE HELP’”. The Facebook message quickly attracted more than 1,000 comments and has had more than 2,400 shares.
But a quick search revealed the photo was taken from a report of a runaway wallaby in Gateshead in October last year as reported by The Independent. Hundreds fell for it, as well as update posts from the prankster with reports of sightings before ‘Duncan’ was reported safely home.
The truth surrounding the sighting is far less dramatic than the missing Duncan tale. Despite being a native to Tasmania, Australia, red-necked wallabies have been present in the UK for over a century, having been brought for zoos and private collections where they were popular attractions. They are also proven to be skilled escape artists, adaptive enough to thrive in the British countryside.
According to research by The Conversation, there were 95 confirmed sightings of wallabies in the UK between 2008 and 2018, with Scotland and the Isle of Man thought to have robust wallaby colonies. Most sightings were recorded in the south of England, such as Kent.