Escaped pet trumps the turkey at a Missouri nursing home

All About Animals
Friday, November 25, 2011 - 12:58pm

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.

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