Mounties are searching for an unlikely fugitive, after a resident's exotic pet escaped from its Langley home.

A wallaby escaped in the area near the 22200-block of 56 Avenue on Thursday morning, officials say. On Friday, RCMP said the missing marsupial had been spotted near the Langley airport early in the morning.

The RCMP was first alerted to the unusual case when at least two residents called to report they'd seen a kangaroo. As police investigated, the wallaby's owner called to report their missing pet around 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

After the Mounties went public about the disappearance the word wallaby began trending on Twitter.

One person chided the RCMP for posting a photo along with its alert to be on the lookout: "Thank you for the picture, Langley RCMP. It helps distinguish the missing wallaby from the many other ones roaming around Metro Vancouver."

Since then, someone has created a Twitter account for the wallaby, with posts including the hashtag "Free Wally" and a photo of a wallaby edited to include the "Where's Waldo" hat and glasses.

One of the tweets is directed at Langley RCMP, and reads, "You'll never take me alive!"

Native to Australia, wallabies are in the same family as kangaroos but typically only grow to a height of between 30 and 100 centimetres, while kangaroos can reach as tall as two metres.

It is legal to own a pet wallaby in British Columbia, as they are not on the province's list of 1,000 Controlled Alien Species.

CTV Vancouver tracked down the animal's owner, but he declined an on-camera interview.

He told reporter Ben Miljure he is very worried about his wallaby's safety because of the large coyote population in the area.

RCMP Cpl. Holly Largy said the furry escapee is "friendly, but very timid" and may be scared after finding itself in an unfamiliar setting. The wallaby is female, and about one metre tall with a grey and brown fur coat.

Police are asking anyone who spots the wallaby to call them directly at 604-532-3200 so officers can send someone to wrangle it.

With a report from CTV Vancouver's Ben Miljure


wallaby missing