May 11, 2009

Brits turn to wallabies for lawn control

Wallaby breeders in Britain say demand is soaring as private land owners turn to the marsupials to keep their grass short.

Trevor Lay, owner of Waveney Wildlife in Bungay, England, said he used to breed only 15 animals a year for zoos and animal parks but since private land owners began buying the animals about five years ago he has been breeding 35 each year, The Times of London reported Monday.

It's crazy. To be honest, if I had 100 I could easily get rid of them, said Lay, who has been breeding wallabies for 25 years and is the largest private supplier in Britain.

Fellow breeder Quintin Spratt of Tacolneston, England, said his business has also been booming as a result of people using them to control large lawns.

The breeders said prospective wallaby owners need at least half an acre of land with a lot of grass and a fence at least 5 feet high around the property.

Anyone who can keep a rabbit can keep a wallaby. They are lovely, gregarious animals, Lay said.