A runaway wallaby sparked a police hunt involving six officers after he was spotted making a dash for freedom – near BIRMINGHAM.
Three-year-old Colin scaled a 6ft (1.8m) fence to do a runner from his pen in Solihull, West Mids., before hopping back home FIVE hours later, his owners revealed yesterday.
The meandering marsupial escaped on Thursday night and sightings were reported over four miles away from the half-acre field he shares with seven other wallabies.
Police were called when a shocked motorist spotted the unusual sight and filmed the albino fugitive on his mobile at around 11.45 pm.
Despite six officers turning up to try and catch Colin he disappeared into the night and it was down to owners Jon Cloke, 46, and wife Angela, 46, to track him down.
He was eventually found cowering in a field just yards from where he had originally escaped after his countryside walkabout.
Jon drove around for 90 minutes in the dark and cornered Colin before returning at sunrise to capture him.
He said: “The police rang us about 12.30am. There’s no-one around here who owns wallabies so I knew it was ours.
“We’ve never had one escape before so I don’t know how it got it.
“They didn’t tell me how far it had got but it was spotted near a lane by Balsall Common so it was a few miles away. He must have been missing for about five hours.
“When I found it, it was nearly back and was in the field near where they are all kept – so he’s pretty much much made his own way home.
“They are quite shy so it’s odd tha somebody got a picture of him.”
Angela described Colin as the ‘rogue’ in the furry family-of-eight and said he must have got homesick and come back.
“My husband had a drive around. He went out about 12.30am and got back about 2am.
“He tracked it down but his wallaby net had fallen off the truck so he couldn’t catch it.
“He secured it in a field overnight and went back out this morning and managed to corner it with a man who works for us and they managed to catch it.
“It had basically come back to where it lives to see its mates.
“He must have got lonely and decided to come home.”
The couple have bred the animals – native to remote Bruny Island in Tasmania, Australia – on their farm near Knowle, Solihull, for eight years.
Jonathan and Angela have lived on their farm for 23 years and have three sons, Ben, 20, Tom, 17, and Sam, 14.
The couple’s main business is through the sale of eggs but they also keep an exotic menagerie of sheep, eight llamas, four pigs, 12 cows, seven cats, ornamental pheasants and a chocolate labrador.
Solihull Police tweeted a picture of the furry fugitive on Friday morning initially mistaking it for a kangaroo.
They wrote: “Kangaroo on the loose in knowle, Solihull.”
Seven minutes later cops joked they had ‘jumped to the wrong conclusion’ and admitted it was actually a wallaby.
They wrote: “Correction for the Kangaroo incident in Knowle, it was a Wallaby, jumped to wrong conclusion.”
In a final tweet four minutes afterwards, police wrote: “Kangaroo / Wallaby incident. Situation now under control.”
A West Midlands Police spokeswoman confirmed officers had attended the area on Thursday evening in search of the rogue animal.
She said: “At around 11.45pm on 13 June we were called to a report of a Wallaby hopping along Old Green Lane in the Knowle area of Solihull.
“Police attended and located the owner who confirmed the animal had escaped from its pen.
“The wallaby returned home of its own accord.”
FACTFILE: SOLIHULL VS BRUNY ISLAND, AUSTRALIA
Population: 206,700 600
Terrain: Concrete, grass, green fields Sand, dolerite rock, eucalyptus forest
Local landmarks: Touchwood Shopping Centre Mt. Mangana (1,837 ft)
Avg temp. (Summer): 19 C 19 C
Avg rainfall (Summer) 35 mm 75 mm