Choppy the wallaby inspires Chopwell children to make films about the famous marsupial

Choppy has inspired a film by primary school children in the village where he was spotted in October. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

A wallaby who made headlines around the country has inspired children in the village where he was spotted to make two films.

Choppy the wandering marsupial attracted nationwide attention when he was seen hopping around the village of Chopwell, in Gateshead, in October 2022.

Children from Chopwell Primary School have now made two films chronicling his adventures.

  • Picture credit: Blyth Wildlife Rescue / Video credit: Digital Voice

A news report style video tells the story of how Choppy was spotted by residents in bizarre video footage shared on social media.

Budding news reporters spoke to eyewitnesses who saw the Australian native animal on their estate, and those involved in the rescue efforts.

The other film tells the story of how the marsupial put the quiet village of Chopwell on the map - after the animal was broadcast across the national news.

Animations of the wallaby were based on drawings by the children at the primary school and brought to life by a professional animator.

Children spent hours planning and crafting the two films. Credit: Digital Voices

They were premiered at the school on 23 January 2023 after taking six weeks to complete.

It was funded by the Digital Voice organisation, based in Chopwell, which aims to give opportunities to children from disadvantaged backgrounds in poorly connected areas.

Choppy's tale...

Choppy was on the loose for ten days before being rescued by volunteers from Byth Wildlife Rescue, BeastWatch UK and The Lost Dog Trapping Team.

They brought the wanderer to safety after a 12-hour rescue mission, and coined his name - Choppy.

He was assessed by professionals, including having X-rays which showed no fractures, and was deemed well.

Choppy received medical treatment after wounding himself on his cage. Credit: Blyth Wildlife Rescue

However, the out-of-place hopper sustained swelling and bruising to his head after trying to escape his cage.

A wound on his nose was cleaned and sutured under general anaesthetic successfully as arrangements were made to transfer him to a secure home at Northumberland College Zoo.

It was announced on 24 November that Choppy had died suddenly.

A veterinary examination found he had pneumonia, resulting from an underlying and historic condition.

Managing director of Digital Voice Julie Nicholson told ITV Tyne Tees: "I'm so proud of all the children. They have been so creative and worked really hard.

"It's not easy to make something like this and they even came in on Saturdays to the youth club to make it. It took them six weeks in total and they all went above and beyond."

Ela, who attends both Chopwell Primary School and the youth club, said: "I thought the project was really great, and you get to learn new skills all the time, doing things you never really thought you’d get to do."

The full videos made by the children can be watched on Digital Voice's website here.

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