Wallabies back home safe after escape drama

One of the escapees has already been found

One of the escapees has already been found

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THE final Tasmanian wallaby who escaped from a fly fishing centre has been found.

The first wallaby was captured soon after the pair escaped from their new surroundings at Leadburn Manor in West Linton, while the second mischievous marsupial was found in the early hours of this morning.

The two wallabies were expected to become one of the main attractions at the centre, which also keeps huskies, pigs, pygmy goats, chickens, ducks and geese.

But bosses could only watch as the pair dived into the waters surrounding their planned island base on Tuesday and hopped out of sight.

Staff from the Scottish SPCA were brought in to help centre owner Francis Gilhooley in the hunt for the 18-month-old males and a local marksman was able to safely dart one of the animals. A more secure pen is currently being built to stop it from escaping again.

Speaking about the latest capture, Mr Gilhooley said: “We finally got him at around midnight. We just found him in the corner of the land sitting in the long grass.

“We think he might have been out of our land on the moor and then come back in again. We must have been past that bit of land and scanned it at least 20 times.

“He was just sitting in the long grass muching away. I fell into a river trying to get him back.

“He’s had a busy couple of days but he’s none the worse. The public reaction we’ve had has been fantastic.”

Speaking about the capture of the first escapee, he said: “We found the wallaby in a corner of our land. It was sitting down eating grass. We had to get a specialist in through the Scottish SPCA to dart it.

“I was chuffed when we found the wallaby. Mr Gilhooley is now running a competition to name the wallabies, with residents urged to submit suggestions via the centre’s website. The winning names will be revealed on Monday.

Before the capture, Scottish SPCA senior inspector Stuart Murray said he could not see any reason why the wallaby would not survive “indefinitely” in the Scottish wild.

“They are quite shy wee things and they will keep out your road,” he said. “They are not dangerous, they just want to get away from you. Scotland’s only other colony of wallabies live on the island of Inchconnachan in Loch Lomond.

Marvellous marsupials

Wallabies are members of the kangaroo clan found primarily in Australia and on nearby islands.

All wallabies are marsupials.

Wallabies are typically small to medium-sized mammals, but the largest can reach 6 feet (1.8 metres) from head to tail.

Wallabies have powerful hind legs, which they use to bound along at up to 40mph, jump great distances and defend themselves.

Wallabies are herbivores, and the bulk of their diet consists of grasses and plants.

Sorry tail of dog in need of a loving home

A HOMELESS dog who “can’t stop” chasing his own tail has to have it covered up to prevent him damaging it.

Jovi, a three-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier, has his tail bandaged by staff at Dogs Trust in West Calder, West Lothian, whenever he is left alone, to stop him getting hurt.

Susan Tonner, manager at the centre, said: “Jovi is a sweet, affectionate softie who adores human company and cannot get enough cuddles. He is a sensitive boy and we think his habit developed because he loves to be with people so much that he gets bored and stressed when left alone.”

The charity is currently trying to find Jovi a home.