A wallaby called Ant who has been missing from a Lincolnshire farm for almost three weeks is now back home and reunited with his brother Dec.
Ant escaped from Tracey and Dave Hall’s Tiny Steps Petting Farm in Thurlby on January 5.
There were early sightings of him in Edenham, Toft, Swallow Hill, Manthorpe and Lound, and various other locations. He buckled one kind trap around a week ago before he was eventually caught close to a local residents’ home on January 23, thanks to the help of RSPCA inspector Justin Stubbs.
Other than a small cut on his face which he has been given antibiotics for Ant is otherwise fine. Now that he is back at the farm safely it turns out that he’s had quite the adventure.
Tracey told The Lincolnite it is still unclear how he got out, but they have added in extra security cameras and more robust fencing.
She said: “He’s been visiting a golf course, a physiotherapist’s garden, and a tennis court where he has been sitting and watching a gardener do bits in the garden.
“Heat seeking drones and wallaby watchers have been trying to spot him and, after sightings at Swallow Hill, we knew he was more local.
“It has been hard work and we’ve been worried about him getting caught in the traffic as he crossed the road occasionally and was hopping down the verges.
“It is a big relief to have him back. He’s there for people to come and see, and he is fun, so it is nice to have him back as he is part of the family.”
She added: “Hundreds of people have been trying to help keep him safe, and we’ve had lots of well wishes. He definitely made a home at Swallow Hill and residents will miss him.
“We wouldn’t have caught Ant if we hadn’t had the help from Justin from the RSPCA, with his support and help, even on his days off, so a big thank you to him. He was the main person that kept us going.”
Ant’s brother Dec is also glad to have him back again, but Tracey said the two of them are very different.
She added: “Ant is more energetic and constantly jumping about, whereas Dec has always stood and watched and is a quiet wallaby.
“I can’t believe a little animal like Ant has been out for three weeks avoiding being runover, and also having his own routine. It’s shown he’s quite a clever little thing.”
Tracey added that they are busy getting ready for when the farm reopens to the public on April 4.
RSPCA inspector Justin Stubbs said: “It has been an interesting and emotionally draining three weeks but it’s fantastic to have been able to rescue Ant, and it was a real team effort.
“The support from the local community has been incredible and we would like to thank everyone who has helped and been concerned for Ant.
“I was just over-the-moon when we realised he had gone into the custom-made trap and a big thank you to Ravenswood Rescue as it was a real game changer.
“It’s certainly a rescue I won’t forget for a while and I’m just so happy that he’s been caught and been given the all clear from a vet so that he can be reunited with his pal Dec.”