On Saturday September 26 2015, a woman in Dursley in Gloucestershire reported seeing a kangaroo and, as was warranted by such an unusual thing, presented photographic evidence. When police constables found themselves in pursuit, one remarked that it was “not the usual bouncers that we’re interacting with on a Saturday night.” Gloucestershire Police tweeted: “Kangaroo update – we have it cornered ‘outback’ of a house in Woodmancote but no owner identified yet.” As well as the “outback” gag, several newspapers found the opportunity to employ the expression “on the hop.”
The chase began at 21:30 with sightings on Uley Road, Blackhills Drive and Stanthill Drive, but the “kangaroo” stormed towards the officers and jumped a wall, escaping into a nearby forest. Gloucestershire filth’s first tweet asked anyone missing a kangaroo to contact police. One Twitter user responded that this beast was four feet tall but fully-grown kangaroos are larger and suggested that it was a wallaby on the loose. The force’s posts to Faceache and Twitter were shared and commented upon thousands of times over.
Rich Gillingham was serving supper to guests when two police officers entered the kitchen and sought permission to search his garden for a kangaroo, making for “One of the most bizarre evenings of my life.”
Wallabies are kept at Hartpury College in Woodchester, eight miles distant, and there has been a wallaby on the loose from time to time in the last five years, however the College reported its wallabies were “tucked up safely in their enclosure this weekend,” so it seems someone else in suburban Gloucestershire had been in possession of an antipodean marsupial.
Gave Watkins, the institution’s head of department for animal management, revealed that while there was a wallaby on the loose since 2012 thanks to some mischievous schoolkids on the night of a student ball, it was “highly unlikely” to be this one and “There are a number of collections closer to the Dursley area that the little bouncer could have escaped from.” One Twitter user, Yvette Pearce, posted that wallabies often escaped from a house in Woodchester, Stroud. Heavens.
Police expended hours before giving up in their search. A spokeswoman cautioned tautologically that wallabies are “strong and powerful animals” and this one might be distressed, so approaching it was inadvisable. She concluded, “It is a mystery as to where it has gone.”
Resident Warren Pendred attested to the might of the wallaby: it came running towards his group and he tried to block its advance, grappling with it for several seconds, but “it was too strong.” The wallaby struck him as a badass muthaf***er: “It gave a massive thud on the ground. Like a warning, as if to say, ‘stay away.'”
Legend has it that you can see a wallaby on the loose in Staffordshire after a number absconded from a private zoo in the 1930s. There’s certainly been a colony on Inchconnachan Island, Loch Lomond, since the 1920s.
Timothy Chilman used to work in IT. Once, in Sydney, he was turned down for a job because he was “too flamboyant” (“Someone who wears green tartan suspenders to a job interview probably isn’t going to fit in here”). Timothy then became an English teacher. University students in Bangkok complained that he was “too enthusiastic” and company students in Prague complained that he was “too theatrical.”