Out of Place Animal
- Hi All --
It's an article of faith to Forteans that, whenever sightings of
animals seen outside of their normal environments, like large cats or
kangaroos, are reported, the community and press will immediately say
that the animal is an escapee from a circus or private animal farm.
Reports of these sightings are then discounted, and the furor over their
appearance quickly disappears, leaving puzzled witnesses and laughter in
the community. The fact that this has happened thousands of times
certainly lends credence to this faith.
But, there are times when an actual out of place animal *does
escape*, and makes an appearance far from its native land.
It happened here in Wisconsin. Just this week.
Amy Kunkel, a veterinary assistant clinic employee near Brodhead in
Green County received Buddy, a 2 foot wallaby, an Australian marsupial
related to the kangaroo, three and a half years ago as a birthday gift.
Last Tuesday Buddy made his escape through a gate that was left open
into his pen. No one knows who left the gate open, but Buddy took
advantage of the opening, and disappeared into the snowcovered fields.
Worried that he wouldn't survive long in the cold wintry weather or
among scavenging coyotes, Kunkel contacted the Green County Sheriff's
department. A deputy Wednesday nearly grabbed Buddy, but an approaching
vehicle scared the wallaby away just as he was about to be nabbed.
Buddy's tracks in the snow showed his hops averaging five feet in
distance, covering at times nine feet. As the days passed, Kunkel grew
However, despite Kunkel's fears that Buddy would be found dead,
while driving in search of him with friends Friday, Kunkel spotted
Buddy. Kunkel immediately jumped from the car, and Buddy darted toward
"My boyfriend tackled him, and I grabbed his tail, and there he
was," said Kunkel.
So Buddy was returned to his pen, given some lettuce, a strawberry,
and a piece of broccoli, which he quickly devoured. At last report, he
was resting comfortably in his pen that he shares with two sheep, two
pigs and a goat, under a heatlamp to keep him warm, seemingly none the
worse for wear.
Sometimes the community is right. Out of place animals *really are*
But other times they're something else.
Another research project I'll be working on later this year is to
dig up a lot of the stories of the famous kangaroo sightings from
Waukesha County back in the 1970s. And these sightings were not of an