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Injured Halawa wallaby being treated by Honolulu Zoo veterinarians


    Agriculture inspectors estimate the wallaby is between 2-1/2 and 3 feet tall, weighing about 30 to 40 pounds.


    A wallaby spotted near the Halawa Correctional Facility has been taken to the Honolulu Zoo.

An injured wallaby, found this afternoon near the Halawa Correctional Facility, has been taken to the Honolulu Zoo.

The wallaby is likely the same one spotted near the prison on Valentine’s Day and at other times.

Public Safety spokeswoman Toni Schwartz said the wallaby has been seen a few times outside the perimeter of the facility.

City spokesman Andrew Perreira said the marsupial arrived at the zoo’s animal hospital at about 5:45 p.m. and was being assessed. “They will decide what the next step will be,” he said.

Janelle Saneishi, spokeswoman for the Department of Agriculture, said personnel responded to the report of the animal, captured it within 15 minutes, placed it in a dog carrier and took it to the zoo, where veterinarians will assess it.

“Not any vet can take care of a wallaby,” she said.

Agriculture inspectors estimate it is between 2-1/2 and 3 feet tall, weighing about 30 to 40 pounds, had a swollen eye and was not moving much.

Saneishi said she is unsure whether initial reports of the animal being struck by a vehicle were correct. When the wallaby arrived at the zoo, “it was hopping around,“ she said.

The shy animals, similar to kangaroos, have long, bushy tails and small ears. They were introduced to Oahu from Australia in 1916 when a pair of breeding adults escaped from a private zoo in Alewa Heights. They have established themselves on the rocky cliffs of Kalihi Valley and feed on non-native Christmas berry bushes, They are not considered a threat to the environment.

In 2007, a state Department of Land and Natural Resources spokeswoman said state officials think wallabies continue to live in the back of Kalihi Valley, but cannot be sure because the agency does not monitor them.

State administrative rules prohibit hunting, killing or possessing brush-tailed rock wallabies, but they can be imported for research and exhibition in municipal zoos.

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