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10 feral animals wreaking environmental havoc

June 7, 2012, 7 p.m.
Wallabies

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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Wallabies

Deep in the Forest of Rambouillet, west of Paris, wallabies are flourishing, thousands of miles away from their native Australia. These kangaroo-like creatures (escapees from a nearby wildlife park decades ago) don’t appear to do much harm to local ecosystems, but they do occasionally startle unsuspecting drivers, often winding up as roadkill. Several other colonies of feral wallabies exist around the world as well. There’s one on Lambay Island, off the east coast of Ireland. The Dublin Zoo released them in the 1980s after experiencing a sudden wallaby population explosion. Another colony of farm escapees thrives in Cornwall in the U.K. There’s even a colony in the Kalihi Valley on Oahu, descendants of runaways from a local zoo nearly 100 years ago.