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Kangaroo escapes southwestern Ontario zoo, found safe several kilometres away

For the second time in just over a month, a kangaroo has escaped an Ontario zoo — this time in Chatham-Kent.

According to municipal police, the animal got out of Greenview Park and Zoo, located in the hamlet of Morpeth.

Police say it was later tracked down several kilometres away near Ridgetown on Tuesday.

In early December, a kangaroo was loose in the Durham Region, then later captured.

Kangaroo spotted in Chatham-Kent, Ont., after escaping the Greenview Park and Zoo.
Kangaroo spotted in Chatham-Kent, Ont., after escaping the Greenview Park and Zoo. (Lexi Prochnicki)

Chatham-Kent police said in a statement that if residents thought they spotted a kangaroo hopping around the area of Reeder’s Line in the former Howard Township they “were not hallucinating.”

Chatham’s Lexi Prochnicki said she was out making Amazon deliveries in the Ridgetown-area when she noticed the animal.

“I figured it was a deer at first,” she told CBC News. “I see so many of them on my route but then I realized deer don’t have tiny arms. I hit the brake and backed up, sure enough it was a kangaroo.”

Prochnicki says another person in the area contacted the zoo and not long afterward a police officer pulled up.

“The kangaroo didn’t seem to be afraid or anything … just out for a stroll.”

The kangaroo escaped from Greenview Park and Zoo in Morpeth, Ont.
The kangaroo escaped from Greenview Park and Zoo in Morpeth, Ont. (Lexi Prochnicki)

The “short-lived adventure” for the animal, as police put it, isn’t to be taken lightly according to a University of Windsor associate professor of anthrozoology.

Beth Daly compares it to the adage of dogs getting scared during fireworks and taking off because of the overwhelming sound.

“That always makes me think about any wild animal that’s living out of its environment or living in these kinds of cages,” she said. 

WATCH | Escaped kangaroo caught east of Toronto:

kangaroo escapes southwestern ontario zoo found safe several kilometres away 2

Escaped kangaroo caught east of Toronto

1 month ago

Duration 5:00

A kangaroo that’s been on the run east of Toronto since last week has been found and captured, and is set to go to the Oshawa Zoo for a health checkup, police in Durham Region said.

Daly said when exocitic animals are loose they’re motivated by the fear of having no idea where they are. 

“Suddenly they’re in these crazy anthropogenic environments where they have no idea where they are or what they’re in. And I should think, as with most wild animals, their instinct is to simply run, fight or flight.”

Daly says word of the escape made her “cringe.”

Anthrozoology professor Beth Daly joined Tony Doucette in the studio to talk about service animals, their uses and how schools will accommodate their presence.
Beth Daly is an anthrozoology professor at the University of Windsor. (Tom Addison/CBC)

“Ontario doesn’t have regulations for roadside zoos. It’s an ongoing public issue for animal welfare people. It’s just very disturbing. If I wanted to open a roadside zoo in Windsor, I would just go get the animals I want and get a license and I could have a roadside zoo in my backyard or out of my van,” said Daly.

Exactly how the kangaroo escaped is unknown. However, police said it was returned safely to the zoo.

CBC News contacted Greenview Park and Zoo but didn’t receive a response ahead of publication.

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