December 22 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
A WILD wallaby gave a barmaid a shock when it hopped out in front of her on a country road.
Jessica Wiltshire spotted the creature on the A603, near Barton, at 3.30am on Sunday morning, when she and her friends were in a taxi returning from a night out.
The 20-year-old, who works at The Crown in Litlington, quickly snapped the beast before it disappeared into the bushes.
It is believed to be Britain’s first sighting of a feral wallaby.
“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” said Jessica.
“We thought it was a deer or fox in the road so the cab driver slowed down, but when we got closer we realised it was a wallaby.
“It looked just like Skippy the kangaroo and was up on its hind legs, staring at us in the dark. It was a little bigger than an average dog.
“I took a photo on my phone as I knew no one would believe us. I can still hardly believe it myself.”
The girls and taxi driver Tomas Tarjan, 32, then spent 40 minutes searching in the hedges for the wallaby, before calling the police.
“It was the weirdest thing I have ever seen. I said to the girls I was sure I did not live in Australia,” said Tomas. “The police finally sent two cars and when they saw the photo they started searching.”
Officers located the creature and contacted wallaby owners in the area, but no one had reported one missing.
A spokesman for Cambridgeshire Police said: “We were called to reports a wallaby had been spotted. We located the animal but we left it after professional advice from the RSPCA and Shepreth Wildlife Park.”
Wallabies, which can grow to up to six feet in length, are usually found in Australia or Papua New Guinea.
Rebecca Willers, animal manager at Shepreth Wildlife Park, said: “A couple of years ago some people in Britain were buying wallabies as pets so it could be one that has been set free and is now living in the wild.
“Wallabies can survive in the wild in Britain as there is plenty of vegetation for them and lots of cover if temperatures drop in the winter.”
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