Authorities have for weeks been inundated with reports of a mysterious kangaroo bounding through the area of Lower Saxony in Germany before finally being injured and killed by a passing motorist, giving much needed vindication to the several witnesses who claimed to have seen it in recent weeks. But the mystery is by no means solved as police scramble to get answers as to where this creature could have come from.
Kangaroos are generally considered an icon of Australia, and are almost never seen outside of zoos and animal sanctuaries anywhere else. The bipedal marsupials get their family name from the fact that their feet are so large. But this macropod wasn’t your usual bigfoot encounter. And it would have been a tragic albeit normal event if it had taken place in Australia some 10,000 miles away. But as the police were called to the scene, the authorities began a checklist of where the mystery animal could have possibly hailed from. What they found only deepened the mystery.
No zoos in the area had reported a kangaroo missing. After checking the missing animal database, authorities then resorted to calling up all zoos in the area to ensure their kangaroos were not missing. Having found no misplaced marsupials, they then contacted private owners who may have been caring for misplaced kangaroos. They similarly found nothing, leaving them scratching their heads. Everyone in the area was claiming this animal shouldn’t exist.
Meanwhile the creature was taken to a local veterinarian where its injuries turned out to be quite bad from the impact with the vehicle. It had gone into shock and was feeling no pain as it was euthanized. The tragedy of the moment only deepened the mystery. But could this be yet another example of an unexplainably misplaced animal? Reports had been pouring in to authorities for weeks prior regarding the presence of at least one kangaroo in Lower Saxony, and there were even a few suggestions that there may be more.
Is there an illegal kangaroo trade operating in Lower Saxony? Or could this have been somehow related to the mysterious phenomenon of spotting kangaroos worldwide in unusual locations? In 2007 an almost identical case happened in Hebron Connecticut where an out of place kangaroo was struck and killed by a car. Other cases have been spotted in Mexico, South America, Great Britain, and several different cities in the US. There was even one case in early 2003 where several residents of a small Alaskan town were spotting kangaroos hopping through a blizzard apparently unaffected by the biting cold. By what mechanism are these animals finding their way far from Australia? And how then are they traveling in other parts of the world largely unnoticed?
The phenomena of out of place animals (also known as OOPAs) has primarily gotten attention due to the presence of large black cats appearing in climates around the world that would normally be unsustainable for them. And even when these creatures are struck and killed, the next sighting of an out of place animal often goes unheeded.