As far as I can gather, the story goes that it had somehow found its way onto the lower end of our flats very early in the morning, sat around quietly for a while in the gardens and then a group of tenants and workmen carefully herded it into our playground to save it from bolting into the nearby streets and traffic. Luckily the fencing had been replaced a couple of years ago so the area is like a huge secure cage - although at one point, the wallaby tried - and nearly succeeded - to get to freedom under the fence!
While we waited for the RSPCA to arrive, word quickly spread and families with children arrived to stare at this wonder - a wallaby in our playground!! Better than going to the zoo! The excitement! As the animal kept mostly to the perimeter fence, we were all able to get a really close up look, which felt like a rare privilege although the creature must have been quite alarmed!
So what was it doing here? A recent story in our local paper reported a couple of wallabies having taken up residence in Highgate Cemetery, about 10 minutes stroll from where I live. No-one quite knows how they got there - or even if there's one or two wallabies - but the cemetery managers refused an offer from London Zoo to tranquillize the wallaby and take it away, saying that it was a good tourist attraction and they were keeping it in a secure place. Hmm, not that secure it would seem!
The editor of our local paper, Dan Carrier, lives just around the corner so he also hotfooted it around to get the scoop for his paper - and, in the process, got involved in helping to keep the wallaby in the playground and then helped the RSPCA to unload him safely into the van.
|Leigh Summers (RSPCA) and Dan Carrier (CNJ)|
Ever the newspaperman, one of the children remarked that Dan was still taking photos with one hand while helping to get the wallaby into the RSPCA van with the other! His full story was up on the CNJ website within the hour with those photos. Great work, Dan!
Here's the captured wallaby inside the RSPCA van. He'll be taken to an exotic animal centre near to Heathrow where his future will be decided.
PS. I've just had a visit from ITN who will be covering the story on London Tonight this evening ... and guess who took the video and photos they're going to use? That'll be me. *blush*
So much excitement and I still have the Fortnum and Mason Great Pumpkin Carving competition to attend today. I'll need a lie down after this!