A 7-year-old kangaro, aptly named Hopper, escaped its owners' home on Thursday morning
A kangaroo was caught hopping around a Tampa, Fla. apartment complex on Thursday morning, per a news release from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office (HCSO).
Early that morning, a confused resident called the authorities about the animal jumping around the complex’s pool area. After the 7-year-old kangaroo — aptly named Hopper — was removed from the premises, the authorities released the audio of the emergency call.
"911, do you need police, fire or medical?" asked the 911 dispatcher.
The confused caller offered an unsure reply and requested the police. "There's a kangaroo in my apartment complex," the caller explained.
🦘𝗔 𝗞𝗮𝗻𝗴𝗮𝗿𝗼𝗼? 𝗢𝗻 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗟𝗼𝗼𝘀𝗲?🦘
You read that right! Earlier this morning, our deputies responded to a call in Tampa for a loose kangaroo that had gotten trapped in an apartment complex's pool area (near Fowler Avenue and 56th St.). Thanks to #teamHCSO's… pic.twitter.com/9g5J2KBcet
— HCSO (@HCSOSheriff) February 8, 2024
In the police audio, the same dispatcher explains to other emergency responders that Hopper is “kind of a large kangaroo.” The dispatcher explained that the responders ”got [Hopper] closed into the pool gated area."
The HCSO shared in an X (formerly Twitter) post that the Agriculture Unit assisted in the rescue mission and reunited the owners with Hopper. The HCSO K-9 and aviation units tried to keep Hopper in the enclosed pool area to later lead him into a trailer, reports the Tampa Bay Times.
Once Hopper was in HCSO possession, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission tracked down the owners, per the Times.
“The kangaroo has been fed and cared for by our deputies,” an HCSO spokesperson told the Tampa Bay Times on Thursday afternoon. “The owners are driving to our range right now ... to retrieve their kangaroo.”
A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office has yet to provide the owners' names, per the Tampa Bay Times. However, once the animal was reunited with the owners, it was confirmed they had the correct paperwork and permits to own up to two kangaroos.
In Florida, the state’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission requires any civilians who want to own a kangaroo as a personal pet to obtain a permit — which allows the owners to house the kangaroo at a specific address, take it to the vet and travel with it.
While the office shared Hopper was returned, it was not shared how the kangaroo originally got free from the home.
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