Missing wallaby has Monee residents, neighboring towns on the lookout

The 2-foot-tall, 45-pound wallaby named Rupert went missing earlier this week.

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Rupert the wallaby went missing Tuesday night in Monee. The animal escaped from his owner’s backyard.

Rupert, a wallaby, went missing Tuesday night in Monee. The animal escaped from his owner’s backyard.

Josie Hange

A wallaby named Rupert is reported missing from south suburban Monee. Residents in the area are asked to keep watch for the animal.

Josie Hange, Rupert’s owner, said he snuck out of their backyard Tuesday night. Rupert is almost 2 years old, about 2 feet tall and weighs 45 pounds.

Rupert the wallaby went missing Tuesday night after escaping from his owner’s backyard on Monee.

Rupert, a wallaby, went missing Tuesday night after escaping from his owner’s backyard in Monee.

Josie Hange

“It’s crazy, you turn your head for a second and boom. It can happen with a dog, it can happen with a cat,” Hange said. “I need people to help look for him. I need people with search-and-rescue abilities, people with drones, people with hunting dogs that can herd and corral him.”

Will County Animal Control posted a flyer on Facebook on Thursday advising residents to not chase or try to catch Rupert but to take a photo and video of his location and contact animal control.

Wallabies are legal to own in Illinois and Hange has a license for him, she said. She got Rupert when he was a baby and he behaves like any other house pet. He sleeps on the couch and plays with her two children, cat and dog. His favorite foods are lettuce and apples.

“He’s very socialized. He loves to play, to be chased around. He’s just a sweetheart,” Hange said. “The longest he has ever been alone in his life is an hour. He goes with us everywhere.”

Rupert the wallaby plays with Josie Hange’s cat named Merlin.

Rupert the wallaby plays with Josie Hange’s cat named Merlin.

Josie Hange

Wallabies are skittish by nature and fast runners, she said. Instead of running after him and trying to catch him, Hange hopes to corral and trap him.

“I’m just terrified, he’s been out too long. It’s getting dangerous,” Hange said. “This could happen with any pet. I didn’t take on an animal I can’t take care of, I did my research.”

Anyone with information on Rupert’s whereabouts is asked to reach out to Will County Animal Control or call Hange at (708) 710-3148.

A wallaby named Rupert has gone missing from south suburban Monee and residents in the area are asked to keep an eye out for him.

A wallaby named Rupert has gone missing from south suburban Monee and residents in the area are asked to keep an eye out for him.

Will County Animal Control via Facebook

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