Wallabies warm to Britain

Sunday 04 May 1997 23:02 BST
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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

Wallabies, the sun-loving marsupials from Australia, are in the midst of a population boom due to the variable British weather.

The warmer climate has encouraged wallabies brought over here in the Sixties to breed and become neighbours with British fauna. One wildlife expert said: "Wallabies come from arid semi-desert areas and cannot normally survive in cold countries. Their success indicates how much the British climate has changed in the past few years." There are believed to be at least a dozen colonies, varying in size from 12 to 120 animals. Fourteen wallabies were recently found feeding near Middleton in Teesdale on the County Durham-Cumbrian border. The creatures, a popular target for game hunters, have also been reported in the vicinity of Newcastle Airport.

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