I'll be sure to remember this! If I see what might be a wallaby in the area but on closer inspection it has a kangaroo's gnashers, I won't bother to call the police. This is not the macropod you're looking. He can go about his business.
Plus it can be hard to pick scale. Was it a Fairy Penguin or an Emperor? Are they sure it wasn't an Auk?
There are, actually, a lot of morphological differences between wallabies and kangaroos. Roos tend to be leaner as well as bigger, being more adapted to dry grasslands while wallabies tend to live in less open spaces. Wallabies tend to have thicker fur. There are a few things I'd check before I went for the teeth. Height being the most obvious.
Missing vulture Gandalf found on Scots island of Islay
A vulture that went missing from a bird of prey centre in North Lanarkshire has been found about 100 miles away on the island of Islay.
The bird, called Gandalf, disappeared from the World of Wings centre in Cumbernauld on 23 March.
There had been no confirmed sightings until a farmer on the Hebridean island spotted the vulture on his farm.
Gandalf was caught by a local bird expert and is being returned home. The vulture was hungry but unharmed.
She had been chased away from the skies above Cumbernauld by three buzzards who attacked as the vulture performed an aerial display.
It was the second time that Gandalf, a Ruppell's Griffon Vulture, native to Africa, had vanished from World of Wings.
The bird, which has a 10.5ft wingspan and can soar up to 37,000ft, went missing for a week in August 2010.
Gandalf has been the star at the World of Wings centre since 2006, when she was brought from the Sahel region of central Africa as part of a breeding programme.
Stonehenge man's missing falcon found on Isle of Wight
A bird of prey that was "days from death" after going missing in Wiltshire is to be reunited with its owner having been rescued on the Isle of Wight.
Zazu, a male gyr-peregrine cross, went missing from Stonehenge on 22 March when it chased a crow.
After ten days its owner, Mike Gale, received a call to say his falcon was 60 miles away in Ventnor.
It had been rescued by Steve Hain of White Falconry, who nursed it back to health.
Mr Hain said: "A member of the public called, saying she could hear bells.
"One of our friends went out there, he's a falconer, so he used a lure to bring the bird in."
After spending an hour contacting other falconers on the island, Mr Hain tried the Independent Bird Register, which helped them trace Mr Gale.
He said: "It's lucky for Mike that he registered the bird - a lot of people don't because it costs money."
The bird, which had removed its transmitter, was very weak and hungry when it was found.
Mr Hain said: "He had quite a mucky beak, which tells us he had been eating bugs. He had a cut on his leg so he was must have been attacked by another bird.
"We spent the last week giving him fluids and wet food. He's had a bath and we've been keeping him warm.
"I reckon he would have been dead in a day and a half had we not found him."
Mr Gale, who adopted three-year-old Zazu eight months ago, said: "I'm rather attached to him.
"I thought I'd never get him back, to be honest."
Dangerous giant bird on the loose in Hertfordshire countryside
The South American rhea, which has claws capable of disembowelling a person, has been spotted roaming around fields
By James Edgar, and Jasper Copping
1:20PM BST 15 Apr 2014
With its reputed ability to disembowel a human with a single blow, it is not the kind of creature one normally expects to encounter in the gentle countryside of the Home Counties.
But a swathe of Hertfordshire is on high alert for a 6ft tall bird which has escaped from its enclosure where it was kept as a pet.
The South American rhea has been on the run for a month, using its top speed of 40mph to successfully evade attempts to capture it.
Jo Clarke, the owner, said she kept four of the animals at her property in Brent Pelham, in the north east of the county, as they are good at eating weeds. The runaway creature, however, fled after apparently being spooked by a local hunt. The rogue animal – a three-year-old female – has been nicknamed “Chris”, by villagers, after the “Road to Hell” singer, Chris Rea.
Since escaping, it has been spotted in neighbouring villages up to around five miles away. The flightless bird – about the size of an ostrich – was photographed by Ray Murdoch after he stumbled across it while on a bike ride near to the village of Nuthampstead, last Thursday.
Mr Murdoch, 66, a retired geography teacher said: “In the distance I saw what appeared to be a large bird, the closer I got the more perplexed I got, I thought it was a crane, I got closer, no it isn’t.
“The bird was trotting along just a couple of metres off the road in the edge of a field. As I got closer it kept looking over its shoulder at me. I think the rhea was as amazed to see a cyclist as I was to see a rhea.”
Tim Bradshaw, meanwhile, has spotted the bird near to his home in the village of Anstey, on Sunday. He said: ‘We had heard it was living in the woods near our house so I got my camera – it seemed more scared of me than I was of it.
The creatures are omnivorous, often eating insects and small vertebrates, as well as their preferred large-leafed plants, and they are said to be – usually – of a timid nature. However, the RSPCA have warned locals not to approach the runaway rhea if they spot it. Instead, they should report sightings to the organisation.
If they lash out with their long legs, their six-inch claws are said to be capable of disembowelling a man. They are also noted for pecking at the eyes with their beaks, if riled.
An RSPCA spokesman said: “They look nice but they are so strong it’s unbelievable. They aren’t listed as a dangerous animal but can kill you with one strike of their feet because their claws are six inches long. They will also go for your eyes with their beak.”
The creature may want to stay one step ahead of the authorities. In 2010, an escaped rhea in Eyke, Suffolk, died after RSPCA experts shot it with a tranquilliser gun and it later suffered a suspected panic attack while recovering from the anaesthetic.
People trying to find an escaped 6ft-tall bird capable of running at 40mph say there has been a threat to kill it.
Rita the rhea disappeared from its Jo Clark's small-holding close to the Essex/Hertfordshire border, last month.
It has been spotted in nearby Anstey and at Barkway Park Golf Club, but keeps disappearing.
Searcher Jane Garne said someone rang to say they would shoot it, although Rita's owner said the South American bird was not dangerous.
Jo Clarke said her bird was not dangerous, although the RSPCA advice was to ring 101
Rita the rhea
A photograph of Rita was taken in a field in the Brent Pelham area
The RSPCA said: "Rheas are large birds and have the potential to be dangerous as they are strong, fast and have sharp claws.
"Our advice to the general public is keep well away and call us or the police on 101 if they see the bird."
Ms Garner said: "I have unfortunately had a call and the person told me they had a firearms licence and that he was going to shoot it.
"I implored him not to - it's doing no harm and there are lots of people badly trying to find a way to catch it."
Rita shared her pen with three younger rheas which are not fully grown
The rhea, which is similar to an ostrich, is six years old and normally lives with three others rheas on its owner's land at Starling's Green.
"It's upsetting to hear someone say they'd shoot it," Ms Clark said.
"It's gone silly, but it's a large chicken and it isn't going to hurt anybody, I promise you.
"It's been hand-reared and they don't kick, they don't bite and she'll just run away from anyone."
Charmaine Lake, who spotted Rita on the golf course, said she did not feel threatened by the bird.
"She didn't seem like she was going to come charging at me, so I was quite happy," she said.
Escaped ring-tailed lemur spotted in Sulby driveway
A ring-tailed lemur called Linta who escaped from a wildlife park on the Isle of Man more than a week ago has been spotted for the first time. A motorist saw the missing primate in a driveway in Sulby, and park manager Kathleen Graham said she was probably looking for food. Mrs Graham said the man told her the lemur looked "perky and bright".
Linta was one of two females brought to the Curraghs Wildlife Park last month from a English zoo. The new arrivals had just spent three weeks being bonded with two males in the park's new hospital building.
When the four animals were moved into their outdoor enclosure, surrounded by an electric fence, Linta jumped over it and escaped.
Mrs Graham said: "They were all getting on fine and we did everything right. She didn't see it as a fence but an obstacle to jump on whilst she established her new territory.
"She will have got little zap but kept going."
Park staff have been searching the surrounding area each day and are now concentrating on the Sulby area.
Mrs Graham said: "She will be missing her bananas and grapes but the park is surrounded by a huge and largely uninhabited area of woodland.
"It is like looking for a needle in a haystack.
"Obviously we don't know if she has gone much further but if anyone spots her please let us know - she is not dangerous and we just want her safe return."
It was hoped the two females would breed with the two males to make a group - although the highly sociable animals are not endangered.
Arrests after wild boars let loose in Maesteg burglary
Police said the boars could attack other livestock
Six people have been arrested after wild boars were released during a burglary at a farm in Bridgend county.
About 21 of the animals could be roaming the area after they were released from their pen following a break-in in Ewenny Road, Maesteg, at 12:30 BST on Sunday.
Police said the farmer holds a dangerous animals licence and had the necessary fencing to prevent escapes.
Anyone who sees the boars is advised not approach them, but to call 101.
South Wales Police said although the animals are not an immediate threat to the public, they may charge anyone who tries to approach them as they will be disorientated and are not used to being out of their pens.
Wild boars are usually nocturnal and can travel up to 30 miles a day searching for food in the early morning or late afternoon and evening.
Inspector Paul Thomas said: "These animals are recognised as posing a potential threat. People should take as much care as possible.
"We are investigating the criminal damage and the release of dangerous wild animals, which can carry a sentence in prison."
Naturalist and broadcaster Iolo Williams, the patron of the Wild Boar Trust said he has tracked wild boar in the Forest of Dean.
"They're fantastic animals, fascinating things. It's important I think that we remember they are a native animal. The Welsh princes used to hunt them so they're part of our heritage really," Mr Williams told BBC Radio Wales.
Continue reading the main story
All you have to do is just open the door and off they go immediately. They do not want that contact with people”
He said people in and around Maesteg have nothing to worry about with the released boars on the loose.
"They have a bad reputation and I don't understand why," said Mr Williams. "They are very secretive, they are very shy and probably the first thing they'll do is they'll head for woodland cover.
"There's quite a bit of woodland up above and at the back of Maesteg there - forestry plantation and I'm pretty sure that's where people will find most of them."
He added: "They're fascinating animals and an important part of the woodland ecology as well. They turf up the woodland floor which helps new plants and flowers grow, which helps insects which helps birds."
Runaway rhea, Chris, is shot dead by a gamekeeper
Local gamekeeper said he understood that the police wanted the bird dispatched because they were worried that it could cause a car crash
By Keith Perry and James Edgar
11:02PM BST 09 May 2014
The runaway rhea that has been roaming a golf course for more than a month has finally met its end at the hands of a gamekeeper.
The 6ft South American bird, which was reputedly capable of disembowelling a man with its claws, had become a familiar sight to players at Barkway Park Golf Club near Royston, Herts, after escaping from its enclosure nearby.
But it wandered into Stuart Howe’s rifle sights in a nearby oil seed rape field, and the deer manager killed it with a single shot to the head from 70 yards.
Mr Howe yesterday insisted the bird had not suffered, and said the meat would be made into gourmet sausages. He added that he understood that the police wanted the bird dispatched because they were worried that it could cause a car crash.
Mike Rodgers, the golf club’s captain, said he was sorry the rhea — named Chris after the singer Chris Rea — had been shot. “It’s sad that someone had to shoot it, but if it was a traffic hazard, I understand that,” he said.
“The golfers here sort of adopted it and used to enjoy seeing it grazing near the golf course. We were quite fond of the bird. It was never a particular nuisance and kept well away from golfers.”
Mr Howe, 65, who manages deer and lives in the nearby village of Hare Street, said: “I suppose some people might say it is a shame the rhea is dead but it would be terrible if it caused someone to die in a car crash. I saw the rhea near the roadside at one point and it would easily have caused a car to swerve and hit a tree.
“What’s the life of a bird against the life of a person or family? The police wanted it out of the way and there was no way anyone would be able to capture it.”
Mr Howe, who shot the bird on Monday, said it was also better it was killed by an experienced shot than being injured or subjected to a slow, painful death by a poacher with the wrong type of weapon.
The rhea had become a frequent sight in a small area in north east Hertfordshire, but with a top speed of 45mph, its pursuers have not been able to get close. The RSPCA warned people not to approach the creature.
Insp Paul David of Hertfordshire police said: “I am amazed it survived this long to be honest. It would have been a real problem if it had wandered into the road and posed a traffic hazard. We will have to notify the owner that the bird has been killed.”
Jo Clark, the bird’s owner, was unavailable for comment, but said previously she was worried it would be killed. The former Page Three model and show jumper, 53, said: “I’m absolutely horrified at the thought someone will try to get rid of her because they think she’ll disembowel them with her claws.”
USA: An owner of a zoo in the US said a 12in alligator has escaped, possibly with some help from a tortoise.
The alligator named Carlos reportedly got out of an enclosure at the GarLyn Zoo near Naubinway, Michigan. He was spotted by people nearby, who called police, but he was not caught.
Gary Moore, who runs the zoo, says he suspects the alligator slipped under a fence, adding a large tortoise that walks in the area, wearing away dirt, likely was an inadvertent accomplice in Carlos’ getaway.
USA: A black bear who managed to climb out of a Texas zoo exhibit took a dip in a pond with some harbour seals before staffers tranquillised him.
No one was hurt in the incident at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville. Zoo spokeswoman Cynthia Galvan said the 220lb male bear, named Oscar, is staying in his sleeping quarters, out of public view, until repairs are made to cracks in the concrete wall of the bear grotto.
Oscar apparently made his way out by digging his claws into cracks in the wall, Ms Galvan said.
“A zoo visitor witnessed that he was trying to climb the wall, went to report it to one of the zoo employees.”
When staff arrived, Oscar was already out. “He meandered his way through the amphitheatre and into the harbour seals’ pool for a dip,” Ms Galvan said. Staff members contained him within 15 minutes at the pool, she said.
An escaped emu ran through traffic on a main road in an Israeli town, weaving between cars in the rain.
Passer-by Iliya Zelser, who filmed the bird’s run in the central town of Herzliya, said the experience made him feel like he was in a cartoon. Mr Zelser said he expected to hear the “beep beep” of the cartoon Road Runner. The 27-year-old said: “I said to myself, ‘in a second, a coyote will appear from behind’. This was a really absurd situation.”
The bird had escaped from a private farm. Authorities caught it and returned it to its owner.
A kangaroo is on the loose in snowy Austria, hopping his way toward dispelling a famous slogan.
“No kangaroos in Austria” T-shirts and souvenirs have been big sellers for years in the alpine nation, since some people confuse Austria with Australia.
Anton the kangaroo bounded away from his owner several weeks ago and has been living rough since, disappearing into forested land every time someone tries to capture him. He is expected to be fit enough and to have enough food to make it through the winter.