So is it a kangaroo or wallaby springing around the south of the county? Hartpury can help if you’re getting your marsupials mixed up!

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With the story of Gloucestershire Police dealing with a rogue ‘bouncer’ in the Dursley area on Saturday night, there’s been a lot of talk of a ‘kangaroo’ eluding capture.

Staff from Hartpury’s extensive animal collection are sure, however, that the marauding marsupial is much more likely to have been a wallaby. Although Hartpury’s own collection were tucked up safely in their enclosure at the weekend!

Hartpury’s Head of Department for Animal Management, Grace Watkins, said: “I know there’s been some speculation that this wallaby could be one that escaped from Hartpury in 2012, but that is highly unlikely.

“There are a number of collections closer to the Dursley area that the little bouncer could have escaped from. Provided there’s a decent supply of grass and water available, it should be fine, but as we approach winter, it will need extra food and shelter so I hope it is found soon.

“I know Gloucestershire Police originally tweeted that they had been trying to capture a kangaroo but there’s a big difference in characteristics between them and wallabies, not least their size, and I’m sure it would have been a wallaby.

“Students who come to Hartpury would certainly learn the difference between the two animals!

“Our students are able to get hands on with the wallabies in our collection and have even been privileged enough to see two joeys born in the last couple of years too, monitoring their rearing and their development. It’s fantastic experience for them, especially those students hoping to work in zoos or wildlife parks.”

The college runs a range of BTEC Diplomas in animal management, along with animal-based degree courses, and the hands on experience the students gain provides a valuable step into the industry, ensuring they are both knowledgeable and boosting their chances of securing a career in the industry.

Wallabies are only one of the non-native species boasts in its animal collection, with piranhas and young boa constrictors the latest to join the growing menagerie! There’s also meerkats, llamas, emus and many more, including dedicated reptile and aquatics facilities and an impressive aviary.

If you are interested in working with animals, you can find out more about what Hartpury could do for you at www.hartpury.ac.uk or book to come to our next college open day on Saturday, October 17th at www.hartpury.ac.uk/opendays

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