TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Officials are warning people to stay away from a kangaroo on the loose in Alabama that was most recently spotted swimming in a lake.
Tuscaloosa Animal Control, Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office and Bigham Farms & Exotics have teamed up to try to find and capture the elusive marsupial, The Tuscaloosa News reported.
The last reported sighting of the kangaroo was Wednesday night, when BarstoolAlabama posted a video to Instagram that appeared to show the animal swimming in Lake Tuscaloosa. WIAT confirmed that investigators are working to confirm whether the video is real.
The last official sighting of the kangaroo was when it was seen hopping near U.S. Highway 82 on Tuesday morning, UPI reported.
Bigham Farms & Exotics said on its Facebook page that the kangaroo did not come from their farm, and came from the Fayette County area.
“Do not try to approach it,” Tuscaloosa County sheriff’s deputy Martha Hocutt told The Tuscaloosa News. “These are wild animals; these are not the cute little fuzzies. They can hurt you; kangaroos can hurt you.”
Kangaroos have very powerful legs and are able to leap as far as 30 feet in a single bound, according to National Geographic. The marsupials are native to Australia, and when threatened will kick opponents and sometimes bite.
In its Facebook post, Bigham Farms & Exotics warned people who might see the kangaroo to stay away: “He is most likely terrified and can die from the heat if he doesn’t find a water source.”
“I had really rather not learn hands-on,” Hocutt told The Tuscaloosa News. “They have really sharp claws. They will kick, and they will cut you up.”
Investigators told The Tuscaloosa News that they are working to identify the owner, and that despite their rarity, kangaroos have been loose in the area before.
“There’s an exotic livestock sale about every three or four months, and people buy these things,” Hocutt said. “Last year there was one loose in Winfield for about four days.”
©2022 Cox Media Group