Choppy the wandering wallaby of Gateshead finds new home after rescue

Choppy was sleepy from the sedative on arrival but his condition is good. Credit: Blyth Wildlife Rescue

A wallaby who gained national fame after being spotted hopping around Gateshead has been resettled after being rescued in the dead of night.

Bizarre footage circulated online on Wednesday 19 October of the out-of-place marsupial on the streets of Chopwell village.

Just under 10 days later, volunteers from the community, Blyth Wildlife Rescue, BeastWatch UK (BWUK) and The Lost Dog Trapping Team managed to rescue the wanderer and bring him to safety.

After the 12-hour rescue mission, the wallaby was appropriately named 'Choppy' by volunteers.

Choppy was eventually caught in this large dog trap supplied by The Lost Dog Trapping Team Search And Rescue Network. Credit: Blyth Wildlife Rescue

Shortly before 5am this morning, Blyth Wildlife Rescue charity received a call from BWUK requesting their assistance to help with a trapped wallaby in Chopwell.

The wallaby had been contained for several hours with help from the local volunteers and The Lost Dog Trapping Team, who supplied and set up a large dog trap in a secluded area.

Blyth Wildlife Rescue mobilised an emergency medic team immediately, with three vehicles arriving on scene at 6:30am.

Once mobilised, contact was made with charity vets Dr Allan and Sharon Wright of Wrights Vets, to request their attendance to administer sedation to allow safe onward transport.

Choppy had sustained a severe injury to his face after trying to get out of the trap, so medics had to ensure prompt action and a plan to prevent further injury and distress.

An assessment revealed that Choppy had not suffered any fractured bones. Credit: Blyth Wildlife Rescue

Once sedated, Choppy was removed from the trap, checked for life threatening injuries and deemed fit for transport to the veterinary practice in Birtley.

He received a full assessment including x-rays, which fortunately showed no fractures.

Due to his strength and determination to escape the trap, he sustained swelling and bruising to his head with bone exposed on his nose.

The wound was cleaned and successfully sutured under general anaesthetic.

Meanwhile, arrangements were made to transfer him to a secure home at Northumberland College Zoo at Kirkley Hall.

Choppy's tail flopped out as he arrived sedated at Kirkley Hall. Credit: Blyth Wildlife Rescue

The medic team transported Choppy directly to the zoo under sedation, ensuring staff were ready and waiting for his arrival.

Choppy took a while to come around from the sedation but thankfully recovered over several hours.

Charity medics remained with Choppy during recovery and finally returned to the centre after the 12-hour operation to resume normal duties.

The zoological team will be monitoring him closely and continue post care before integrating him with the two resident females already on site.

Choppy was settling in at Northumberland College Zoo. Credit: Blyth Wildlife Rescue

Blyth Wildlife Rescue founder and senior medic John Anderson, who attended the rescue, said: "This was a long and stressful rescue for all involved, taking 12 hours from start to finish. There was a large amount of operational logistics involved today, complicated by the last-minute nature of the emergency."

He added: "We're grateful to all persons involved in playing their part in the rescue mission. We're pleased the animal is now safe from harm and we look forward to further updates in Choppy's progress".

The group said they do not know where Choppy came from or why he was on the loose.

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