Wallaby captured after being found wild in Somerset

A female wallaby was captured by zoo staff after it was spotted roaming the fields of Somerset.

The Red-necked Wallaby, or Bennett’s wallaby, had been spotted with others in an area west of Taunton for months before it was captured on Sunday morning over concerns for its safety.

Staff from Tropiquaria Zoo, based in the nearby harbour town of Watchet, were helped by locals to box the animal in an enclosed paddock.

Chris Moiser and Jane Bassett, director and co-director of the zoo, attended the scene where the wallaby was spotted with long nets and spent “a few hectic minutes” chasing it down.

Mr Moiser said the species are usually found in their native Eastern Australia and Tasmania, but small groups are known to be wild in the UK, France and New Zealand.

He said: “Fortunately they seem to do little to damage the domestic ecology, so where they do establish there are usually no great efforts to eradicate them.

“This one did not escape from Tropiquaria, but because we keep the species and people see them when visiting us they do tend to call us first when they see them.

“There are a number of private keepers in the area that I am aware of, but they are proving difficult to contact.

“As this animal was not too far from Taunton, our concern was that it would be attacked by dogs or become a road casualty.

“As they can be as heavy as a small Roe Deer, hitting one in the car could – as well as being fatal for the wallaby – potentially cause serious damage to the vehicle, and a possible crash.”

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