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Coffee Break: Encounters with Unusual or Exotic Animals

Snakes on a Plane? What about Goats in the Shelter? That was the question we posed for our first installment of “Coffee Break,” a new department designed to showcase your advice, wisdom, and tales from the wild side. And when we asked for stories of unusual or exotic animals, you told us about more close encounters than we could fit into these pages: with goats, potbellied pigs, chickens, emus, snakes—even a wayward wallaby and a five-footlong iguana.

A citizen called in freaking out that she almost hit a kangaroo in the road. I’m thinking, yeah right, this is Texas, not Australia! She said the kangaroo was about three feet tall and hopped into the woods. So, to ease her mind, I set a trap for the wild hopping kangaroo (baited with exotic type foods recommended by our local zoo). I checked the trap the next day, and—nothing. So I rebaited the trap with fresh fruits and veggies. I went back the following morning to pick up the trap and say, “I tried,” and to my surprise, we had a wallaby in the trap! She was a very pretty animal with psychotic behavior, and I hope we never get a real kangaroo!
Julie Rodriguez, City of Pearland Animal Control & Adoption Center, Pearland, Texas

A woman was visiting a farm, and they were about to put down the runt of a pig litter. She was horrified and took it home. Then she realized that she couldn’t keep a Yorkshire pig in an apartment and brought it to HSPC. I was able to find a home for him where he is a pet, not dinner, but he spent the weekend at the shelter. We were having a birthday party (we do parties every Sunday as part of our community outreach), and we put a bow on him and brought him to the party in a little basket. He was still puppy-sized. The little girls squealed as much as the piglet. We hear he shares a heated barn with an old horse and does frequent visits to nearby schools.
Nancy Thaden, Humane Society of Pulaski County, Little Rock, Arkansas

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