An escaped wallaby forced the closure of a major road during rush-hour today.
Some 15 police officers were involved in the operation to retrieve the animal, which fled from Askham Bryan College in York yesterday.
Officers closed a section of the A1237 between Haxby and Strensall in North Yorkshire at around 6pm after the wallaby was spotted in the area.
A specialist vet was drafted in to help retrieve the creature, which was eventually cornered on an embankment near the North York Bypass, police said.
A tranquilliser dart was used to stop the wallaby, which is being returned to the college where an animal management course is run.
The road was reopened shortly before 8.30pm.
Inspector Richard Mallinson said:
“We detained the wallaby – without the use of handcuffs.
“The risk was, if the wallaby went across the road, it could have caused an accident. We have to look at the safety of the public first.
“It’s an animal not common in the UK so a specialist vet was brought in from Hull who used a tranquilliser dart.
“The experts advised we couldn’t use a Taser because it could kill the animal or make it wild.”
While native to Australia, there are small colonies of wallabies in the Lake District and around Loch Lomond in Scotland. Last year a wallaby was seen around London’s Highgate cemetery.
Source – Northern Echo, 10 Oct 2014