Pet wallaby named Rupert missing from Monee family's backyard, police say

Owner fears Rupert may be 'frightened and skittish'

ByMark Rivera and ABC7 Digital Team WLS logo
Friday, September 15, 2023
Pet wallaby named Rupert missing from Monee family's backyard, police say
A pet wallaby named Rupert went missing from his family's backyard in Monee on Tuesday. His owner fears he's frightened and scared.

MONEE, Ill. (WLS) -- A family in Monee is asking for help in finding their unusual missing pet.

Rupert, a wallaby, escaped from a pen in the family's yard on Tuesday night.

Rupert is two-foot tall and weighs about 45 pounds, according to owner Josie Hange.

Wallabies are are native to Australia and Papua New Guinea but Rupert is considered an indoor pet that Hange said is probably frightened and skittish outside.

Eyewitness news was with Hange on Friday when she got a call of a sighting of her runaway wallaby Rupert.

"This is the first visual spotting," Hange said. "Somebody caught him on camera so I have to get him today."

The family of Rupert the missing wallaby shared video of their beloved pet. Anyone who sees him should call police at (708)710-3148.

Video shows the missing marsupial hopping along the property of ken Zeilstra's nearby home.

"All of sudden I looked out the window and there he was," said Zeilstra. "We don't see things like that out here. It doesn't happen."

Hange and a small group of volunteers, including some from Tinley Park PAWS are now searching nearby.

"I've done dogs cats birds tortoises, a deer, a horse, but this is my first wallaby," said Jenny Kowalksi with Tinley Park PAWS Lead Rescue Team. "We just want him to know a familiar scent with him so Josie carries around his blanket. We have scent items around their house."

Hange has been out every morning and night since Rupert vanished, doing everything she can to find her AWOL wallaby that's part of the family.

"Frantic, chaos, I'm not going to lie I'm very emotional and there are too many to count at this point," said Hange. "More than anything, worry. I'm a mom. So it's worry. I'm scared."

Hange said she's hoping for more resources and more volunteers to find Rupert, because there is a lot of ground to cover. She's even called in friends of friends to search the fields by drone and looking on the ground for well-defined Wallaby tracks.

"We just want him home safe," said Hange.

Anyone who sees Rupert is asked to call the non-emergency police number at (708)710-3148.