Wayward wallaroo rescued from river after chase in Illinois

PERU, ILLINOIS (AP) — Police in Peru, Illinois, are no strangers to chases — unless what they are after hops away on two legs.

Officers in the city about 152 kilometres southwest of Chicago were joined on Wednesday afternoon by firefighters and even residents in a two-hour pursuit of a runaway wallaroo that bounded through yards and along streets and roads.

Native to Australia, wallaroos are larger than wallabies and smaller than kangaroos. This bloke — named Wally — got away from his owner in LaSalle County.

Fearing that the marsupial might get hit by a vehicle, Peru Police Chief Doug Bernabei shut down nearby roads.

Wally eventually made his way into a river.

“I had to hold back the owner of Wally because he wanted to enter the Illinois River and that would have been tragic,” Bernabei told WLS-TV.

Two anglers were nearby.

“We were screaming and pointing. We were saying, ‘Get your net out, get your net out,’”
Bernabei told the (Peoria) Journal Star. “They yelled, ‘It is not a dog!’ We said … ‘It is not a dog, it is a wallaroo.’”

They used a net to fish Wally from the frigid water and into their boat before taking him to shore.

Police said they planned to verify that Wally’s owner had a permit for a wallaroo.

Police officers and volunteers corner Wally the Wallaroo on the train tracks behind Maze Lumber in Peru, Illinois. PHOTO: AP