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Neighbors searching for escaped wallaby in Mississippi

By
Ben Hooper

A post shared by Jeff The Joey (@jeffthejoey) on

March 16 (UPI) -- Residents in Mississippi are being asked to keep an eye out for a wallaby on the loose after escaping from its owner's fenced-in yard.

A friend of owner Logan Whitefield, who is out of the state on vacation, posted on Facebook that Jeff the wallaby, a smaller cousin of the kangaroo, escaped from Whitefield's Lamar County yard on Tuesday and was last seen in the area Tuesday night.

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"If anyone sees him around town in Hattiesburg please let me know," Katelyn Carmichael wrote in the post. "He's friendly, just scared. Yes he's a pet and yes it is legal. He belongs to some friends of mine and he just got out of their fenced in yard and they aren't in town to deal with this. He's well taken care of and any information would be greatly appreciated."

Stephen Taylor, an animal care manager at the Hattiesburg Zoo, said Jeff might be able to thrive on his own for a time.

"I think it's going to come down to the environment he was raised in. If he was raised near streets, he may be acclimated to that," Taylor told WDAM-TV. "I would think he's probably in a more wooded area, he's probably hiding off somewhere, unsure of his new surroundings. So he's trying to figure it out. Might be trying to lay low."

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Taylor said Jeff should have no problem finding grass and leaves to eat and likely will not have any problems with the weather.

"Wallabies are very, very hearty creatures. They have really strong threshold when it comes to temperatures and there's plenty of stuff for him to eat, so I'm sure he's doing well," Taylor said. "They can handle very, very hot weather and very cold weather, so I'm sure he's doing okay."

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