A missing animal case involving a wallaby, named Walter, has been reported to be stolen from a home in North Wales, United Kingdom, since last week. With this, the North Wales Police has launched a search operation with the help of the public to find Walter the wallaby, a juvenile and an apparent pet rather than one of the UK’s outdoor wild wallabies.
These animals are relatively rare in the country.
Wild wallabies are native to Australia and New Guinea, but sightings of the marsupials in the UK were reported not only in recent years but also over the past several decades. In particular, red-necked wallabies have long been thought to be in the UK for a century. They were believed to have been imported, legally or illegally, from Australia to become pets or encaged in zoos.
North Wales Police Issue Appeal
In its news release on Tuesday, January 23, the North Wales Police issued an appeal to the public to help find Walter the wallaby after receiving a report that the animal was stolen from an address in the Holyhead Road area of Cemaes Bay.
Walter was likely taken between 4:00 a.m. and 6 a.m. on January 18, based on the police media release.
The received report is still being investigated by the local police, and it is still unclear who stole Walter or what happened to it even as of Thursday, January 25. There was also no mention that Walter escaped the North Wales home voluntarily.
Police Sergeant Beth Lloyd stated that Walter’s owner is concerned for his well-being and wishes him to be returned.
For now, the North Wales Police is appealing to anyone who may have seen Walter the wallaby, including those with footage of him around the area when he was taken or noticed any suspicious behavior related to the case.
The police added that people with information that could help with the search and investigation about Walter should contact them immediately.
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UK wallabies are species of red-necked wallaby that are closely related to kangaroos and look similar in appearance. British wallabies belong to a subspecies called Macropus rufogriseus, which is native to the Australian state of Tasmania. These non-native wallabies escaped from private collections and zoos in the last century, according to the non-profit charity organization People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES).
Red-necked wallabies in the UK have no natural predators, but a juvenile wallaby is sometimes killed by dogs and foxes. Other threats faced by UK wallabies are road traffic accidents and harsh winters, the PTES adds. These wild animals can grow up to 70 to 78 centimeters and weigh up to 22 kilograms. They have a lifespan of up to 18 years and their population in the UK remains unknown until now, but rare sightings of the marsupials do still occur.
Related Article: Endangered Wallaby No Longer Extinct! Population Grew as Feral Predators Fenced Out
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