The Other I

October 17, 2012

You saw a what-a?!

Filed under: Just Stuff,The English — theotheri @ 3:39 pm

I live just outside Cambridge, England.  This fact may seem fairly irrelevant, but I feel the reader should know.  Because last night, on a road about a five-minute drive from here, a taxi driving several young women home in the small hours of the night spotted a wallaby crossing the road in front of the car.  Yes, a wallaby.  As in Australian kangaroo.

Wallaby, Barton, CambridgeshireOne of the women was so fascinated she took a picture of it with her cell phone.

Good thing, because the taxi stopped to look for the animal, and another cab stopped to ask if they were in trouble.  No, they replied, they were looking for a kangaroo.   A passenger in the passing taxi was suspicious and phoned the police.  The police were equally skeptical, suspecting something closer to monkey-business than a kangaroo hunt.  So the young woman produced the photo she’d just taken.

The police called for reinforcements and the vet from the local safari park, and an hour later they found the wallaby.

The question was where it had come from.  No one had reported a missing pet kangaroo, and no zoos had reported any escapes recently.

But sixty years ago, a kangaroo troop had escaped from a local zoo, and have been living in the wild – undetected in England – ever since.

The vets strongly advised that the recently captured kangaroo should be returned to the spot where he was found, that he certainly had a family, and knew how to survive.

So the RSPCA took the kangaroo back to where he was found and released him.

We’re checking our garden though, for nightly visitors.  Maybe it’s a wallaby, not a rabbit, that’s been nibbling at our winter vegetables.  Okay, so we’re sharing.



  1. And I thought the opossum that appeared on my street one summer night was exotic (aren’t opossums marsupials?)!


    Comment by pianomusicman — October 17, 2012 @ 4:13 pm | Reply

    • Well, it is arguably more exotic that you actually *saw* your opossum. We are merely living in the reflected glory of a cell phone photo.

      And you recognized what you saw. I do think I’d recognize a wallaby or koala, but I’m not confidant about an opossum.


      Comment by Terry Sissons — October 17, 2012 @ 4:25 pm | Reply

      • The ugliest, most alien-looking creature I’ve seen outside a zoo. And seeing him in the context of a city street made him seem all the more bizarre. But I’d love to spot a wallaby bouncing through the neighborhood. We now have racoons on the block. In nearby neighborhoods they pull the screening off the screen doors or windows, enter the premises and open the fridge doors with their very human-like paws. So far all they’ve done on my street is harass the dogs.


        Comment by pianomusicman — October 17, 2012 @ 9:59 pm

      • OMG! they open *refrigerators*?


        Comment by Terry Sissons — October 18, 2012 @ 1:15 pm

      • Apparently, a raccoon paw is as dexterous as a human hand.


        Comment by pianomusicman — October 18, 2012 @ 3:15 pm

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