29 April 2013
Last updated at 06:33 ET
Police could not confirm if the animal was a kangaroo or a wallaby
Police in Lancashire have been looking for a mystery marsupial after people reported seeing one near Garstang.
Officers heard about a kangaroo crossing a carriageway in Winmarleigh while they were running a rural crime operation in the area at the weekend.
Lancashire Police’s Dave Kerfoot said he had been sceptical but added that seeing a photo of the animal showed he may have been “overly suspicious”.
He said police were investigating where the animal was from and who owned it.
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Kangaroo or wallaby?
- Kangaroos and wallabies are marsupials and are closely related, though adult kangaroos are larger than wallabies
- They can be identified via their teeth, which are different as kangaroos mainly eat grass while wallabies mostly eat leaves
- They are native to Australia and have been introduced in the UK in parks, zoos and farms
Source: Australia Zoo
He added that he had “suspected that it was residents wanting a Winmarleigh Wallaby to rival the Pilling Panther”.
The Pilling Panther refers to rumoured sightings of a wildcat which is said to stalk the area around near the village of Pilling, which lies to the west of Winmarleigh.
A police spokesman said there were suggestions that the animal was not a kangaroo, but a wallaby, which may have escaped from a nearby farm.
He added that the weekend operation had seen officers stop and check 130 vehicles and arrest one driver on suspicion of drinking and driving.
He said four further drivers were “reported for having no insurance, one [was] issued with a fine for having no MOT and one [was] reported for possession of cannabis”.