Escaped pet trumps the turkey at a Missouri nursing home
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — You can�t argue that on Thanksgiving, the turkey is king, but it�s another animal that got people in Platte City, Missouri talking: a wallaby.
"Took me away from black Friday ads and that says a lot," said Kelly Mand.
People in Platte City are used to seeing wildlife, but not the native New Zealander.
"This is really news in a small town like this," said Gina Carr.
Once the shock wore off, folks started to wonder where it came from.
It turns out he only traveled a couple of miles. Four-year-old Noah belongs to the Wood family. They were feeding him Thanksgiving morning.
"My brother had barely opened the door and he just darted out," said 16-year-old Emily Wood.
He ran into the woods and was later spotted hopping through a yard around 9:30. The family started their search, and so did police.
"This is the first time in 28 years of law enforcement that I've ever confronted a loose wallaby," said Platte City police officer Michael Reilly.
Noah bounced into a fenced-in area at the Hillview Nursing Home. An employee spotted him and shut the gate.
Word spread fast.
"The kids were in the shower and I yelled at them to get out of the shower," said Kelly Mand.
"I don't know. I was really freaked out 'cause I didn't know if it would get out or something," said Kelly's son, Andrew.
Noah never broke out and even if he did, his owner says he�s a lover, not a fighter.
"He likes to lick people. He'll give you hugs even," said Wood.
Finally, the Kansas City Zoo came in to give Noah a temporary home while his legalities are worked out.
Officials said wallabies are legal to own in Missouri, but Platte City has an exotic animal ordinance, which Noah falls under.