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Wolf suspected of eating pet wallaby as 'Christmas meal' in Belgium

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File photo of a Wallaby with its joey
File photo of a Wallaby with its joey   -  
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A wolf is suspected of killing a pet wallaby and injuring another during a night attack in northeastern Belgium, a wildlife specialist told AFP on Wednesday.

The missing wallaby is "probably dead," eaten "as a Christmas meal" by the wolf, said Jan Loos, director of the Landschap wildlife centre.

The other wallaby was injured, bitten in the ear, but is "in good health," he said.

The wallabies were in the garden of their owners in the town of Balen when the attack occurred. The owners, whose identity has not been disclosed, called the specialist.

"I discovered wolf footprints, so it is almost certain that it was a wolf, but we are not 100% sure which wolf it is," the expert said.

Loos suspects that a wolf nicknamed August was behind the attack. The animal was first spotted in 2018 and is known to roam across the border with Germany.

Usually, wolves hunt and eat wild boars or deer but they sometimes attack domesticated animals for convenience, the expert said.

Contacted by AFP, the Balen police said they had no further information on the case.

The Landschap wildlife centre has published images of the incident, calling it "very real," "although it might seem absurd".

WOLF EET WALLABY ALS KERSTDINER Het klinkt als té absurd, maar het is helaas echt waar: een wolf - vermoedelijk de...

Publiée par Landschap vzw sur Mercredi 25 décembre 2019

Wallabies, like their close relatives kangaroos, do not usually live in Europe outside zoos.

Colonies of wallabies, which resemble small kangaroos, escaped from a zoological reserve, have lived for decades in an area of ​​the Rambouillet forest, west of Paris.¨

Earlier this month, a kangaroo escaped from its owner's estate in Untertraubenbach, Germany. It is not the first time such incidents have occurred, The Local reported, as kangaroos are increasingly popular pets in western Europe.

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