Crikey! Cops confiscate illegal wallaby on Coney Island boardwalk

wallaby with man
Police confiscated an illegally-owned wallaby on Aug. 19. and brought it to a safe new home.
Photo courtesy NYPD NEWS/X

Cops took custody of a wallaby in Coney Island over the weekend following calls that a 22-year old man was apparently parading the marsupial on Riegalmann Boardwalk.

NYPD officers confiscated the animal — which resembles a kangaroo but with smaller and more compact hind legs — in the 60th Precinct on Aug. 19 and placed it in the care of the Animal Care Centers of New York City. The creature was eventually brought to a wildlife rehabilitation center in Long Island, where it is being cared for on a legal hold.

Following the confiscation, the man was issued a criminal court summons for possession of a wild animal, while the critter was safely escorted to its new home.

New York is a long way from where wallabies can typically be found bouncing along and eating grasses in Australia and New Guinea. 

Illegal wild animal possession in an urban area like Brooklyn seems, well, wild, but it actually happens more frequently than one would expect. 

Illegal wallaby confiscated from Coney Island boardwalk on Aug. 18.
A 22-year-old man was reportedly showing the creature off on Riegelmann Boardwalk.Photo courtesy NYPD NEWS/X

In 2019, another wallaby was surrendered to a city animal shelter after its owners allegedly received it as a gift — earlier this year, an alligator was rescued from the Prospect Park Lake — and later died — after it was likely dumped by an overwhelmed owner. From January 2017 to July 2018, 311 reported 369 calls about exotic and wild animals kept illegally as pets, according to the New York Post — and city workers have rescued dozens of illegally-owned critters including gators, tigers, and more over the years. 

It is unclear where the wallaby originated from and for how long it has been visiting Coney Island’s boardwalk, but the NYCACC firmly reminded New Yorkers that exotic animals are not pets and issued a warning of the dangers that wild animals can harbor.

“It is inappropriate and inhumane to force a wild animal to live as a pet in a densely populated city, and there are no approved rabies vaccinations for wallabies or other marsupials,” said Katy Hansen, director of markting and communications at NYCACC. “For these reasons it is illegal to keep a wallaby in New York City.”