Wilf the wild wal­laby is a hit in War­boys

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - News - By Kenmcer­lain ken.mcer­lain@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk Twit­ter: @ Ptkenmcer­lain 01733 588728

A‘ wild’ wal­laby has be­come a reg­u­lar vis­i­tor to a de­lighted fam­ily’s garden - and now an ap­peal has been launched to find its own­ers. Jan Heath cote’s fam­ily have re­cently moved to their home in War­boys near Peter­bor­ough and within days no­ticed the un­usual vis­i­tor which eats food put out for birds and even plays with the fam­ily’s cats.

Staff at the RSPCA be­lieve that the an­i­mal may have es­caped from a nearby zoo or pri­vate col­lec­tion and have ap­pealed for its own­ers to come for­ward or be traced.

Jan said: “We were very sur­prised. But it is really de­light­ful hav­ing him here. We’ve called him Wilf and we did con­tact the RSPCA. They just ad­vised us to keep an eye on him as he seems happy and healthy.”

The fam­ily moved into the house – they have asked us not to pub­li­cise the pre­cise ad­dress – at the end of Novem­ber, and Jan said the wal­laby had been in the garden most days since then.

She added: “Some­days he’s here for about four hours, es­pe­cially in the morn­ings, and then he of­ten comes back in the evening,

“Then we might not see him for a few days but he al­ways comes back again. It’s lovely see­ing him in the garden.”

Jan said RSPCA of­fi­cers have told them the wal­laby prob­a­bly has a bur­row close to the garden.

Sean Dennis, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of work­top firm Su­pe­rior Sur­faces, in Fen­ton Road, War­boys, said the wal­laby had been present in the area for sev­eral weeks and had been seen around his premises.

Klare Ken­nett, a spokes­woman for the RSPCA, said that wal­la­bies liv­ing wild in

“It is really de­light­ful hav­ing him here.”

the UK are rare but there are cases of an­i­mals which have es­caped from zoos or pri­vate col­lec­tions sur­viv­ing suc­cess­fully in the wild.

She said: “It is likely that the wal­laby has es­caped from an es­tate and we would ad­vise that ef­forts are made to con­tact its own­ers.

“Ob­vi­ously, the an­i­mal is not in­dige­nous to this coun­try and will be hav­ing an af­fect on the lo­cal wildlife.”

Wilf the War­boys wall a by is not the first to have been spot­ted in Cam­bridgeshire.

In Oc­to­ber a taxi driver spot­ted a wal­laby on the A603 near Barton. Driver To­mas Tar­jan, 32, was tak­ing a group of girls home in the mid­dle of the night when he spot­ted the an­i­mal hop­ping across the road.

He said at the time: ‘ This is the weird­est thing I have seen. I said to the girls I was sure we did not live in Aus­tralia. We spent 40 to 50 min­utes search­ing for it.”

The wal­laby was snapped by one of the pas­sen­gers in the taxi.

Wilf bounds away, above, and Jan Heath­cote with Pip and Oliver, be­low

Sean Dennis , top, who­has spot­ted Wilf the wal­laby near his com­pany premises in War­boys.

Jan Heath­cote

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