Kangaroo owner faces felony charges - FOX 13 News

Kangaroo owner faces felony charges

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LACOOCHEE (FOX 13) -

It's not every day you see a kangaroo running around, but it was the spectacle of the day Sunday in Pasco County.

Now, we've got the 911 calls, from people who spotted the kangaroo running down the road.

The Pasco County Sheriff's office got three separate calls early Sunday morning.

Here are some excerpts from those calls:

"There's a kangaroo actually. I think it might have gotten loose from the zoo on Mickler Road. A kangaroo almost getting hit in the highway."

"Happened to notice there were deputies a little while ago around this area, and I don't know what they're looking for, but I'm gonna report a kangaroo."

"They have been searching for this thing. (laughter) Isn't that kind of an odd thing to be searching for?"

"I had to really look at it. I was like, where is a kangaroo gonna come from here in Florida?"

"He's hopping around the yard and then he comes back.. He's just hopping back and forth up and down the road. He's a big kangaroo too."

"He's having a merry old time."

LINK: Audio of 911 calls reporting kangaroo: http://youtu.be/0zMD3Bj-s5o

The kangaroo weighs about 200 pounds, and is five feet tall. It's legal to own a kangaroo in Florida, as long as you have the proper permits.

We went to Dade City's Wild Things to check out their kangaroo named "Jack". He sure looks cute and fuzzy, but his hind legs have the ability to strike with deadly force.

Fully grown, an adult male can run up to about 40 miles per hour. "Jack" was a rescue who's lived there two years and he is friendly.

Randy Stearns tells us the animals, especially those that are not socialized, could be very dangerous if suddenly set free.

"They are actually strong enough to kill you. They have their little arms. A lot of people you see YouTube videos with them boxing, that's another reason you want to be very careful approaching them in the wild. You don't know if the guy who had them was using them as a boxing partner," said Stearns.

Their tails also make them dangerous.

"And another thing is, that very long tail they have, is what they use for balance, they can balance their whole body on that tail and kick with that hind power and kick you, push you, they can actually kick a large man away," Stearns said.

Whoever owns the kangaroo that was caught Sunday faces felony charges according to FWC. DNA testing may be used to figure out whose local herd this could have come from.

The wild kangaroo is being kept at that kangaroo farm in Pasco, near where it was captured. The farm's owner told investigators it is not one of his animals.

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