A ‘wild’ wallaby has become a regular visitor to a delighted family’s Cambridgeshire garden.
Jan Heathcote’s family have recently moved to their home in Warboys near Peterborough and within days noticed the unusual visitor which eats food put out for birds and even plays with the family’s cats.
Staff at the RSPCA believe that the animal may have escaped from a nearby zoo or private collection and have appealed for its owners to come forward or be traced.
Jan said: “We were very surprised. But it is really delightful having him here. We’ve called him Wilf and we did contact the RSPCA. They just advised us to keep an eye on him as he seems happy and healthy.”
The family moved into the house – they have asked us not to publicise the precise address – at the end of November, and Jan said the wallaby had been in the garden most days since then.
She added: “Some days he’s here for about four hours, especially in the mornings, and then he often comes back in the evening,
“Then we might not see him for a few days but he always comes back again. It’s lovely seeing him in the garden.”
Jan said RSPCA officers have told them the wallaby probably has a burrow close to the garden.
Sean Dennis, managing director of worktop firm Superior Surfaces, in Fenton Road, Warboys, said the wallaby had been present in the area for several weeks and had been seen around his premises.
Klare Kennett, a spokeswoman for the RSPCA, said that wallabies living wild in the UK are rare but there are cases of animals which have escaped from zoos or private collections surviving successfully in the wild.
She said: “It is likely that the wallaby has escaped from an estate and we would advise that efforts are made to contact its owners.
“Obviously, the animal is not indigenous to this country and will be having an affect on the local wildlife.”
Wilf the Warboys wallaby is not the first to have been spotted in Cambridgeshire.
In October a taxi driver spotted a wallaby on the A603 near Barton. Driver Tomas Tarjan, 32, was taking a group of girls home in the middle of the night when he spotted the animal hopping across the road.
He said at the time: ‘This is the weirdest thing I have seen. I said to the girls I was sure we did not live in Australia. We spent 40 to 50 minutes searching for it.”
The wallaby was snapped by one of the passengers in the taxi.
Have you got unusual wildlife visitors to your garden? Email firstname.lastname@example.org