A schoolgirl has been left shocked after she spotted a wallaby hopping down her road.
Thirteen-year-old Cia Christie who lives near Gateshead was on her usual route to school on Wednesday morning (19 October) when she saw the exotic animal hopping around on the grass verge near her home.
She described the unusual creature as “quite big” and the video shows the wallaby hopping behind a fence. Cia said: “I was in the car after getting ready for school and just looked out of the window and saw this wallaby. I couldn’t believe my eyes.
“It was 8.30am and I had to rub my eyes to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. I grabbed my phone and just started filming. It was hopping all over a grass verge outside the house.”
She added: “It was quite big and then it jumped off behind a fence.” After Cia posted the video on Facebook she received a message from an animal welfare charity saying it had bounded into nearby Chopwell woods.
Cia’s mum Anna Gibson, 52, commented: “We got a message saying it was last seen in the woods. We haven’t seen it since but we hope it’s alright.
“We haven’t got a clue where it came from because there’s not any zoos or farm parks nearby so it could be someone’s pet which has got out. It’s certainly not what you expect to see hopping down the street in Gateshead.”
What is a wallaby and where are they found?
A wallaby is a small to mid-size marsupial mammal. They are from the same family as kangaroos, and the term "wallaby" is an informal designation used for any macropod that is smaller than a kangaroo.
A macropod is a family of marsupials that includes wallabies along with kangaroos, tree-kangaroos, wallaroos, pademelons, quokkas, and several other groups.
As marsupials, wallabies are native to Australia and New Guinea. However, populations have been introduced into New Zealand and other countries.
Are there wild wallabies in the UK?
Of course, wallabies are not native to the UK, but populations of the animals have been bred successfully in locations near Teignmouth, Devon, in the Ashdown Forest in East Sussex, in Cornwall and on on the islands of Bute in Scotland and Lundy in the Bristol Channel.