On the trail of the Northampton wallabies: Are there loose marsupials in the town?

On trail of the Northampton wallabies - is there any truth to the rumours?
On trail of the Northampton wallabies - is there any truth to the rumours?

The Chronicle and Echo would not have believed there was a wallaby hopping free somewhere in a Northampton neighbourhood.

But the rumours have not stopped.

It comes after a white wallaby was videoed near to Salcey Forest in 2014.

It comes after a white wallaby was videoed near to Salcey Forest in 2014.

Two weeks ago, the Chron published one Northampton woman's story after she was shocked to have one of the hopping marsupials bounded in front of her car as she drove through the Hunsbury Meadows area at around 10.45am on May 22.

"I first thought to myself, 'am I going mad'? said Cate, 55, who was on her way to meet a client at the time.

"It hopped across the road there and disappeared into the children's' play area."

The children's play area is separated from the busy Banbury Lane by a line of trees, and is accessible from Riverstone Way.

One was spotted crossing Bedford Road near to this play park in Hunsbury Meadows.

One was spotted crossing Bedford Road near to this play park in Hunsbury Meadows.

It could have been dismissed as a one-off - if not for the emails the Chronicle and Echo received afterwards.

"I'm glad I'm not the only one," wrote one woman, Sue Tayleure. "I live on Banbury Lane and I saw a wallaby on the mound at the back of my house.

"This was about a year ago.

"Good to know I wasn't imagining it."

There have been several, unconfirmed rumours of wallaby sightings in Northampton.

There have been several, unconfirmed rumours of wallaby sightings in Northampton.

Cate and Sue aren't the only ones. The Facebook comments following the story two weeks ago were rife with other apparent witnesses.

This all comes only four years after the infamous sighting of a rare white Bennett's wallaby caught on video near Salcey Forest.

It was later found dead in a farmers' field after suffering what was believed to be a dog attack.

Meanwhile, another wallaby was spotted near Towcester in 2007.

In search of a fresh lead, the Chronicle and Echo asked residents in Hunsbury Meadows if they had heard of any hopping marsupials in their neighbourhood.

"No," said every resident the Chron asked. One added: "I walk my dogs in the fields twice a day and I've never seen any wallabies.

"There are hundreds of rabbits though, of all colours and sizes. Maybe they saw one of those, or a hare."

It is clear there is no shortage of rumours of wallaby sightings in the town, but the kangaroo cousins have proved camera shy. It could only be a matter of time until the next sighting.

A spokeswoman for the RSPCA reported they had had no recent calls about wallabies in Northamptonshire. However, they urged anyone who spots a rare animal and are concerned for their wellbeing to contact the charity.

If you spot a wallaby in the Hunsbury or Northampton area, get in touch with us here at the Chronicle and Echo be emailing editor@northantsnews.co.uk.