An Australian pest has been spotted on the loose in Timaru's urban areas - and no one knows what to do about it.
The Herald has received several calls from locals about a stray wallaby, spotted wandering everywhere from Otipua Rd to the Timaru New World carpark.
Local Rowena Paddon, who lives opposite Matai Crescent, and her golden retriever chased off after it at 100 miles an hour.
"Both my kids saw it bounding off with our dog in excited pursuit," she said.
"Needless to say, she didn't have the legs on her to keep up with it. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it."
Wallabies are regarded as a pest under the Biosecurity Act, and Environment Canterbury is tasked with the management of the population in this region.
It is understood that the local branch of the Conservation Department has also been informed.
ECan biosecurity officer Brent Glentworth said he was unaware of any official sightings but would speak to the owner if it were confirmed.
"It sounds like someone is trying to keep it as a domestic animal. They're a pest and technically illegal to own," he said.
"The spread of wallabies in the high country parts of South Canterbury concerns ECan and bringing them into urban areas does not help us."
Glentworth said wallaby numbers shot up since centralised wallaby pest control ended in the early 1990s.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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