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Escaped Wallaby Home After Missouri Police Catch

11/26/2011 08:05 AM ET

Escaped Wallaby - You can’t argue that on Thanksgiving, the turkey is king, but it’s another animal that got people in Platte City, MO 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, who was feeding him Thanksgiving morning when he bolted for freedom.

“My brother had barely opened the door and he just darted out,” said Emily Wood.

He ran into the woods and was later spotted hopping through a yard. 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 police officer Michael Reilly.

Noah bounced into a fenced-in area at a nursing home. An employee spotted him and shut the gate.

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.

The Kansas City Zoo has stepped 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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