November 13, 2008

Wallaby Missing 2 Weeks Found Dead

Searchers looking for a Canadian wallaby who escaped his pen near Ottawa last month were told Thursday the animal was found dead a mile away from its zoo home.

Wendell, a 3-year-old Bennett's red-necked wallaby, was born at the facility, but escaped Oct. 28 when a storm blew down a section of fence.

Gary Saunders, co-owner of Saunders Country Critters, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. a veterinarian would conduct an autopsy on the marsupial. He told the broadcaster the animal didn't show any signs of trauma, and he planned to bury Wendell at the facility.

"At least the body will be home," he said. "He may very well have been on his way home."

In the past two weeks, sightings of the 3-foot high animal that resembles a kangaroo were reported as far as 130 miles away.

"With all the sightings and stuff Â… our hopes were always that he was going to be found," Saunders said.