‘Kangaroo’ encounter catches astonished motorist on the hop

Jump to it ... a wallaby photographed by Paul Franks
Jump to it ... a wallaby photographed by Paul Franks

Police have received a report of a ‘kangaroo’ on the loose in a Sussex village.

It was made by a motorist who could not believe his eyes when he saw the creature bouncing towards him.

He turned his car around to take a closer look but the bounder had disappeared.

Police were informed shortly before 6.30pm on Wednesday (June 6).

The sighting was made in Gallipot Street as the man was driving towards the village of Hartfield.

It seems the ‘kangaroo’ is more likely to have been a wallaby – and it has been causing quite a stir locally.

Imogen Vartan, landlady at The Gallipot Inn, said several customers had reported seeing it in the past week, both in the open countryside and on local roads.

She said the mysterious marsupial must be living wild somewhere on Ashdown Forest.

Ironically, Hartfield was the home of author A. A. Milne who took inspiration from the forest for his Winnie-the-Pooh tales.

Two of Pooh’s pals were, of course, Kanga and Roo.

Wallabies look like kangaroos, but are smaller – generally around knee height. They are marsupials, carrying their young in pouches, and originate on the eastern coast of Australia.

You can find red-necked wallabies living wild on a small island in the middle of Loch Lomond. They were deliberately introduced by a previous owner, Lady Arran Colquhoun, in the 1920s and have successfully lived there since.

Ordnance Survey report that wallabies are living elsewhere as well: there is a small colony on the Isle of Man (descended from a pair that escaped a local wildlife park), and there have been occasional sightings in Ashdown Forest, Norfolk, Buckinghamshire and the Peak District.