A wallaby who went missing hours after it arrived at a wildlife park may have been stolen, according to staff at the family run attraction.
The two-foot tall male marsupial arrived at the Filey Bird Garden and Animal Park near Scarborough on Monday, where it was placed in a “wallaby-proof” enclosure, complete with a six-foot high fence.
Animal manager Chris Holah said the animal disappeared some time between 7.30pm on Monday and 7am on Tuesday.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the family-run attraction said: “Thanks to everyone for their support. Unfortunately the wallaby is still missing. We have many messages suggesting it may have been stolen. As it went missing in the night we can’t totally rule it out.”
Staff said there had been two potential sightings of the animal – one near Gristhorpe Roundabout, about half a mile to the north, and one at the top of Folkton Brow, roughly two miles to the south.
“We are still hoping to see him safely returned.” The park added. “Obviously we have had many messages and are unable to respond to them all, but the thoughts are appreciated.”
The animal was one of two male Bennett’s wallabies who arrived at the park. His stay was so short he had yet to be named and keepers were in the early stages of planning a competition to name the new pair.
Mr Holah said the attraction had spent a lot of money on a specialist enclosure, which they were assured by experts was wallaby-proof.
He added that the wallaby posed no threat to people and would probably be difficult to spot as he was likely to hide and was well camouflaged.
Additional reporting by Press Association