Phantom Kangaroos


They’ve been seen all over the world for decades in places they don’t belong, hauntingly hopping about and munching on lawns. Kangaroos may be native to Australia, but that hasn’t stopped them from bringing their adorable terror to other countries around the world. It can be unsettling when you run across a sizable creature that has no easy reason for being there, and then pounces off into the mist never to be seen again. Sure, it’s most likely that many of these are escaped specimens from zoos, but the fact that beasts from far-off places might be peering at you through the weeds and trees behind the local Denny’s is a spine-tingling thought.

The U.K. has had a small and mostly verifiable population of wallabies (which are not kangaroos, but close enough for us) since the 1930s, and there is a colony of wild kangaroos living an hour outside Paris. Japan is currently undergoing a wave of phantom kangaroo sightings. The U.S. had a spate of sightings in the 1970s, and one really creepy photo exists from an encounter in Wisconsin (see above). And if you want a phantom kangaroo story to adapt for the big or small screen, one creature supposedly went amuck in Tennessee in the 1930s, betraying its plant-eating ways and devouring several animals, including a bunch of German shepherds!

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