Missing wallaby finally caught after three weeks on the run in British countryside

Missing wallaby finally caught after three weeks on the run in British countryside
Missing wallaby captured by RSPCA after three weeks on the run
The Independent

A missing wallaby has finally been caught by the RSPCA after being on the run for three weeks in the English countryside.

The seven-month-old wallaby, Ant, dodged three capture attempts in as many weeks after escaping from his enclosure Tiny Steps Petting Farm in Thurlby, Lincolnshire on 5 January leaving behind his pal Dec.

Although he was caught on 15 January, he managed to kick himself out of a cage and went on the run again.

The wandering wallaby enjoyed his freedom and was regularly spotted near a golf course and a local nature reserve as he carried on giving animal officers the slip.

But on Sunday morning, the jig was up as he was found safe and well in one of several feeding stations which had been set up in the area to help catch him.

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Ant has now been moved home and reunited with his companion Dec back at the petting zoo, much to the delight of owner Tracey Hall.

In a post on social media at the weekend, she wrote: "Tiny Steps Petting Farm would like to share some great news today... Ant is finally home, safe and sound.

"While checking the feeding stations this morning, Ant was found in the cage, very calm and not particularly phased by it.

"Justin from the RSPCA who has been helping us came out immediately (on his day off, again!) and a plan was agreed to safely transport Ant back to his home with Dec.

"Our vet is attending to check him over as a precaution, just to make sure he is fit and healthy, but he is happily sitting in his shelter.

"Thank you to all of the local residents who have shown love and support, and helped to get our boy home safely. You all know who you are.

"Finally, a big shout out to all of our volunteers who have helped out at short notice, looked after the farm, travelled around the countryside, and just generally been there for us and the animals during a difficult time."

Justin Stubbs, from the RSPCA, said: "It has been an interesting and emotionally draining three weeks but it's fantastic to have caught him.

"The local support has been phenomenal.

"The use of a custom-made trap from Ravenswood Rescue near Chatteris made all the difference.

"I'll be popping by to see the two boys - Ant and Dec - together again this week."

Both Ant and Dec, the latter described as the "more cautious" of the pair, are Bennett's wallabies.

They were born in the UK before they arrived at the farm in December.

Speaking previously, Tracey told of her frustration at being unable to catch Ant, who evaded capture for a total of 18 days.

She said: "Words can’t adequately describe the frustration and upset at this happening.

"He's having far too much fun to be caught!

"Every time anyone gets near him, he just hops off. He is obviously enjoying his freedom.

"It has been worrying because he's obviously crossed some very busy and dangerous roads.

"We have had a lot of support though trying to find him and we are so grateful."

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