Phantom kangaroo

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Periodically, reports of kangaroos, wallabies, or their accompanying footprints have been made in places where one would not expect them—specifically, areas where there is no native population.[1] Some explanations put forth are escaped zoo or circus animals, or publicity stunts by local businesses using photographs from Australia. Others suggest outbreaks of such sightings are a form of mass hysteria.

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United Kingdom

There is at least one verifiable example of a population of wild wallabies outside Australia. Documented colonies of red-necked wallabies exist in the United Kingdom. In Staffordshire, a breeding colony has established itself after breaking loose from a private zoo in Leek, Staffordshire in the 1930s.[2] Their population peaked in the 1970s, reaching numbers between 60 and 70. There were no confirmed sightings of the wallabies between 2000 and 2008, with some locals believing they must have died out. However, newspapers reported wallaby sightings in July 2009 (including clear pictures) and made reference to sightings in 2008. Other Wallaby colonies exist in the UK, including reliable reports from the Fenland on the Norfolk/Lincolnshire border; and there are a few in Ashdown Forest, Sussex. In May 2001 The Sun reported that the Derbyshire wallabies were hunted for their meat by eastern European immigrants and included images of a half cooked wallaby. While many copies of the paper still exist The Sun still denies running the story.

In Scotland, Inchconnachan, an island in Loch Lomond has a population of wallabies as well. Lady Arran Colquhoun introduced them in the 1920s.[3]

France

There is a verifiable population of kangaroos living in the wild in the township of Émancé, about an hour outside of Paris.[4] The kangaroos are descended from a breeding population which escaped during a botched burglary attempt at an animal park in the 1970s.

Germany

In the years before World War I, there was a colony of wallabies in Prussia, raised by a hunter living there. When he died, shortly before WWI, they became easy prey to local deer hunters.

New Zealand

Kawau Island in the Hauraki Gulf has a colony of three species of wallabies descending from a deliberate introduction by Sir George Grey, a nineteenth century Governor.[5]

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