Mystery solved after an odd string of 'kangaroo' sightings down under in Texas

A wallaby, the kangaroo's smaller cousin, hops down Brazoria County, Texas, Road 321 Wednesday.
A wallaby, the kangaroo's smaller cousin, hops down Brazoria County, Texas, Road 321 Wednesday. Screenshot

"Is that a kangaroo?" the baffled woman asks as she drives down Brazoria County, Texas, Road 321 behind the misplaced hopper, filming the odd sighting .

Well, not exactly, county officials say. But it's still not something you see every day occupying even the most rural lanes of traffic in coastal Texas.

Brazoria County sheriff's deputies told KPRC that the animals recently reported in the town of Sweeny are actually wallabies, the smaller cousins of kangaroos. But that doesn't make the recent string of sightings there any less weird for local folks.

Apparently, someone nearby is licensed by the USDA to breed the wallabies. Now two, a male and a female, are on the loose.

"I was in there brushing my teeth, I came outside to find out what [my wife] was yelling about, and she told me the dogs were chasing a kangaroo around the yard. We don't have them around here," longtime resident Ben Mansfield told KPRC. "I didn't believe her. I thought it was a wounded deer."

One of the Mansfields' neighbors, Mike Vicars, also caught video of the marsupials.

Kim Zapata was the woman filming her roadside encounter with one of them on Wednesday.

"It was just hopping along," Zapata told KVUE. "It looked like a kangaroo, but in Texas, you don't see that."

When Zapata's story first made local news, a family nearly 200 miles away in Salado, Texas, near Austin reached out to local authorities, hoping she had stumbled across their lost pet.

According to KXXV, Salado resident Shawn Whittaker has been searching for his pet kangaroo Izzy since he went missing. Texas is one of 11 U.S. states that require permits for keeping kangaroos as pets, according to Quora.

Unfortunately, Whittaker will have to keep searching for Izzy, while the breeder in Brazoria County continues to try to wrangle his or her wallabies.

Police footage filmed with an infrared helicopter camera recently captured two kangaroos fighting in the bushland of Victoria, Australia. They released the video on Tuesday.