Mon, Oct 19, 2015 - Page 7 News List

Kangaroo captured after brief gambol on Staten Island

‘TAKEN INTO CUSTODY’:A police spokesperson said that the kangaroo escaped from a fenced-in yard, but that he did not leap over the fence

NY Times News Service, NEW YORK

When Urim Osmani opened his auto repair shop on New York City’s Staten Island on Saturday morning, he was not surprised to see a tawny animal crouching nearby.

“At first it looked like a small deer,” Osmani said, adding that deer from nearby woods sometimes wandered close to his shop.

Then the animal reared up on its hind legs and started hopping around in a parking lot. Osmani realized it was a kangaroo.

He said that he and his brother were not frightened — the one-and-a-half-year-old male is less than 1m and weighs about 10kg.

“It was running around like crazy and we didn’t want it to get hit by a car,” Osmani said.

New York Police Department spokesperson Sophia Mason said police officers arrived on the scene at 8:36am and that the kangaroo, named Buster, was “taken into custody without incident” after 10 to 15 minutes and returned to his owner.

Mason said the kangaroo escaped from a fenced-in yard, but that he did not leap over the fence.

“Someone left the gate unlocked and he was able to get loose,” she said.

The house from which Buster escaped is registered to Giovanni Schirripa. It is not the first time exotic animals have escaped after Schirripa’s gate was left open. In 2012 a zebra named Razzi ambled out of his yard.

Mason said the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals told her that keeping a kangaroo was legal in New York State.

Osmani said he had heard about the zebra. This was his first encounter with a kangaroo he said.

“He was jumping around, running around, very fast,” Osmani said. “Enjoying the freedom.”

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