A wallaby that caught the nation’s attention after being spotted hopping around a Gateshead village has been given a ‘forever home’ at Northumberland College Zoo.
The marsupial, which appeared on national television, had been sighted numerous times on the streets of Chopwell over the past few weeks, surprising residents.
Concerned about its welfare, the local community and various wildlife agencies worked together to rescue ‘The Chopwell Wallaby’ in the early hours of Saturday morning.
And, after a 12-hour mission, volunteers from Blyth Wildlife Rescue, BeastWatch UK (BWUK), The Lost Dog Trapping Team and Rescue Network CIC, safely captured the animal in a secluded area.
Once sedated, the wallaby was checked for life-threatening injuries and transported to Wrights’ Vets in Birtley where he was treated for a severe injury to his nose and given a full assessment including X-rays.
After being monitored over several hours, he was moved to Northumberland College Zoo at Kirkley Hall Campus – where he will be closely monitored – and named ‘Choppy’.
Steven Sykes, Animal Centre Resource Manager, said: “Choppy has settled in well since his arrival. After he was caught, Blythe Wildlife Rescue contacted us to see if we could look after him and we were more than happy to help.
“He’s getting stronger, and we hope that once he’s recovered, he will be able to be mixed with our two female wallabies, Sidney and Adelade, after his quarantine period.”
Blyth Wildlife Rescue founder and senior medic John Anderson, who attended the rescue, said: “This was a long and stressful rescue for all involved, taking 12 hours from start to finish. There was a large amount of operational logistics involved, complicated by the last-minute nature of the emergency.
“We would like to express our thanks to Beastwatch UK and The Lost Dog Trapping Team for the long stint in closely tracking and containing him. Without the expertise of our vet team at Wrights Vets, this rescue would have been much more difficult, and we are extremely grateful to them.
“Our sincere gratitude also goes to the fantastic team at Northumberland College Zoo who have provided Choppy with a forever home. He’s going to have company at the zoo and unlimited food on tap so he’s in the best place.”
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