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.
One 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.