Austria often gets mistaken for Australia, and tourist shops even have souvenir t-shirts that say “no kangaroos in Austria”, but now that one has been spotted hopping around in the European country, they may need a better line than that.
Police in the small town of Kirchschlag, northern Austria, confirmed multiple sightings of what looked to be a kangaroo hopping through the meadows and forests around the town, over the weekend, and are now actively searching for it. They have also contacted zoos and breeders in the area, but so far no one has claimed responsibility for the mysterious animal.
Photo: Rileypie/Wikimedia Commons
“It sounds unbelievable, but it’s true,” a police officer told Agence France Press. “We have called all the zoos and kangaroo breeders around us, but no-one is missing a kangaroo. We hope the owner will come forward.”
Police could not specify what breed the kangaroo is, but have assured locals that they have nothing to worry about, as kangaroos are shy animals and this particular one is unlikely to cause any damage. Regarding its chances of survival in the Austrian wild, they are apparently “perfect”.
And if you’re thinking that people simply mistook a giant rabbit for a kangaroo, this video posted on Instagram should clear any doubts. It was shot by one Thomas Kaufmann in nearby Kirchschlag bei Linz, Upper Austria, over the weekend. I’m not an animal expert, but that definitely looks like a kangaroo.
Interestingly, this isn’t the first time a kangaroo was spotted in Upper Austria. In 2015, another one appeared near a field of corn in St. Oswald bei Haslach, after finding its way there from Germany.