Wallaby rescued on Coney Island boardwalk ‘happy’ at Long Island wildlife rescue

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The wallaby rescued from the Coney Island boardwalk over the weekend is happy, healthy and “has a nice personality,” according to the director of the Long Island wildlife preserve where the marsupial now resides.
“It was a little nervous the first night because it was hauled all over the place. It was basically arrested,’’ Lauri Ketcham, one of the directors of Save the Animals Rescue Foundation (STAR), told The Post Tuesday.
She said the wallaby would stay with the shelter for 10 days while its owner is given the chance to demonstrate he had the proper permitting — and to prove it wasn’t housed in the city.
If the owner is unable to reclaim the wallaby within that time, it will remain at the shelter, Ketcham said.
Ketcham disputed reports that her facility was preparing for an influx of wallabies by building extensive enclosures to house them, saying such quotes from her were taken wildly out of context.
The wallaby is residing at the Save the Animals Rescue Foundation on Long Island for now
The animal was taken from a man who was carrying it around Coney Island for tourists to pose take photos with.
“There’s not gonna be an influx of animals pouring out of the city like this,” she said, explaining STAR tries to reduce publicity about its animals to prevent sending the wrong message to people.
“We typically don’t do publicity on these animals. Because people typically want them, and they don’t understand that it is a bad thing.”
The wallaby was confiscated Saturday from a man caught parading it around a stretch of the Coney Island boardwalk where people often hang out with exotic animals for tourists to take photos with.
That man was previously seen carrying the animal in Washington Square Park in early August, said John Di Leonardo of the animal advocacy group Humane Long Island, which notified the NYPD and organized patrols to look out for the wallaby.
When a 911 call came in reporting a sighting of a wallaby, officers arrived and brought it to the Animal Care Centers of New York City. It was then transferred to STAR.
The animal is reportedly happy and healthy in its temporary home at a Long Island wildlife rescue
The man with the wallaby was first spotted in Washington Square Park. David H Castillo for NY Post
“This is definitely our first wallaby,” Ketcham said, adding it probably has a name but she didn’t know what it was.
“We’ve had wolves, bobcats, emus, llamas, pigs, goats, lots of snakes, alligators and crazy things like that, they come in here often.”
The 22-year-old man who had the wallaby was given a ticket for possession of a wild animal, police said.
Under the city’s health code, wallabies and other wild animals are illegal to own in the city unless they are housed in zoos, aquariums, veterinary offices or properly housed at licensed laboratories or animal exhibits.


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