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Bouncing Back

Wallaby found in Tyrone days after escape from nearby farm

Winnie the wallaby had roamed free in the Tyrone countryside for four nights.

AN ESCAPED WALLABY, which got out of its enclosure at an open farm in Co Tyrone on Sunday, was recaptured last night after days of searching.

The female wallaby named Winnie, which escaped from Glenpark Estate near Omagh, was found overnight close to where she was last seen near the village of Gortin.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio’s Today with Claire Byrne, Richard Beattie, the owner of  Glenpark Estate said he had almost given up hope on finding the animal.

“We had reports of her being seen from all over Ireland. We had a fella who works in Glenpark and said ‘Oh, I’ve a friend who’s a deerstalker.’ He came down with night vision goggles and heat detection.”

The wallaby was seen in an area of dense nettles, and would have been undetectable without heat vision, he said.

“She was probably frightened but she’s where she felt safe,” he added.

A net had to be used to catch the wallaby because she was so nervous of people approaching her.

“We got her just after midnight,” Beattie said, and she was placed back into her enclosure with her companion Jeffrey.

Winnie and Jeffrey had been delivered to Glenpark Estate on Sunday, and she jumped over a fence and made a run for it on the same day.

On Tuesday, Beattie told listeners of RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland that anyone in the area should keep a look out for the two-foot-tall marsupial with the “exact same” long tail and jumping style as a kangaroo. 

The search for the wallaby had been made more difficult by Glenpark Estate’s location.

“The biggest problem we have is just we’re so close to Gortin Glens Forest Park and there’s thousands of acres of trees,” Beattie said.

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