Cookstown chef snaps ‘on-the-hop’ wallaby in Castledawson

Gotcha! David Sands from Cookstown snaps an on-the-hop wallaby who has been missing for over two weeks from his Moy home. He was found safe and well in Castledawson on Thursday and head chef David was one of the first on the scene to snap wandering wallaby.

Gotcha! David Sands from Cookstown snaps an on-the-hop wallaby who has been missing for over two weeks from his Moy home. He was found safe and well in Castledawson on Thursday and head chef David was one of the first on the scene to snap wandering wallaby.

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A COOKSTOWN chef was one of the first to snap a wandering wallaby that found its way to Castledawson last week.

David Sands, head chef at the Greenvale Hotel, was visiting his mum Catherine when one of her neighbours spotted the marsupial in a nearby nature compund close to the village on Thursday afternoon.

It was originally thought that the ruthless roo was one that had escaped from Dungannon some two weeks earlier. But it has now transpired it is not the same one..

The Castledawson creature was picked up by the owners of the original two-year-old male who was last seen about six miles from home in a field at Brantry near Eglish. When they got the unwilling wallaby home last week they discovered it was not the same one - and belonged to another man whose wallaby went missing some 24 hours before theirs.

The events unfolded on Thursday after a local gun smith spotted the animal making its way through fields close to the village’s Killyneese Road. And one of the first men on the scene to snap the elusive kangaroo was chef who had been visiting mum Catherine at the time.

Armed with a camera the 56 year-old bounced out of his car when told a kangaroo like creature was just yards away.

“I was driving along the when I spotted one of my mum’s neighbours walking about. I stopped to ask him what he was doing and he just said: ‘We found a kangaroo’,” David told the MAIL.

“I said ‘lovely’ and grabbed my camera, took it out and started snapping away. I got five photos of him before he started to hop away and then we followed him into the forest close to the compound.

“Next thing we know he stuck his head out of the bushes and when we started to walk up to him he turned his head and jumped back in. He was massive, well over five foot when he was on his back legs. We went after him and then started filming him on video.”

“One of the men with me rang the BBC and told them that we had found a kangaroo in Castledawson. They didn’t believe us so I had to send them one of my pictures. I left shortly after that but I had heard his owners travelled down from Moy, grabbed him by the tail and took him home.”

It was local man Mervyn Young from Castledawson who received the phone call from a friend with news that a wallaby was on the loose on the Killyneese Road.

He said: “Maurice Brown rang and said he had bumped into a kangaroo when he was out walking the dog.

“I sent my son James out and he ran up the field to see this kangaroo.

“We have it corralled into an enclosure we keep the ducks in. He is bouncing about and he is very fine looking.”

The marsupial has now been returned to his original owner. by George and TG Troughton who keep the animals as pets and have another two females and two babies. The one missing is the daddy of the group.

The search continues.

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