Northumberland College Zoo announce 'sad death' of 'Choppy' the Wallaby who was found in Gateshead

A spokesperson for the college said they were deeply shocked and saddened to announce that Choppy the Wallaby had died unexpectedly. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

A famous wallaby who hit the headlines after he was spotted on the loose bouncing through a housing estate has died.

The marsupial, who was later named Choppy by his rescuers, was frequently caught on video making himself at home in Chopwell, Gateshead, last month.

His presence stunned locals until he was eventually captured by volunteers at Blyth Wildlife Rescue and Northumberland College Zoo.

He was then taken into care at the zoo where he was enjoying life at his new home before he suddenly fell ill.

Sadly, in a statement today (Wednesday), it was confirmed that Choppy had died.

A spokesperson for the college said: "We are deeply shocked and saddened to announce that Choppy the Wallaby died unexpectedly on Thursday 24 November.

"A veterinary examination identified that he had pneumonia resulting from an underlying and historic condition.

"This is devastating news, especially for our dedicated keepers and everyone who has been involved in his rescue and care."

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

The zoo is also shared with Kirkley Hall in Northumberland and is home to more than 200 species.

While unconfirmed, it is believed Choppy may have escaped from a farm in Durham in 2019 and began a life of his own in the wild.

Wallabies are native to Australia and New Guinea but there are smaller populations found in New Zealand Hawaii, and more recently the UK.

There have been recorded sightings in Essex and Wales in recent years.

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