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article imageRed-necked wallabies living in colony outside of Paris

By Brian Booker     Aug 4, 2015 in Odd News
Paris - The leafy villages west of Paris are finding themselves facing a serious immigration problem, but rather than illegal immigrants from North Africa, village residents are facing off against wallabies from the Land Down Under.
The wallabies originated from a zoological preserve in the village of Emance, which sits about 40 miles southwest of Paris. Back in the 1970's the wallabies were able to escape through holes in the fencing at the reserve and made their way into the nearby forests.
Turns out that the forests and temperate climate of France are perfect for hosting wallabies and although the animals found themselves in an unfamiliar ecosystem, they have been thriving. It is estimated that a 100 or more wallabies now live in the forests outside of Paris.
Most of the wallabies are believed to still live in the vicinity of Emance, a leafy suburb separated from Paris by a pair of large natural parks. Some of the animals have been spotted as far as 40 miles away from the city, however. Given the relatively shy nature of the animals, it is possible that France's wallaby population is much bigger and more widespread than currently believed.
Wallabies are relatively shy animals that prefer to live in forests and lightly populated areas. The animals are similar in appearance to the larger kangaroos, but tend to prefer dense forests rather than open plains. Like kangaroos, wallabies are marsupials. There are 11 species of wallabies, with the ones in question belonging to the red-necked variant.
France has gone to great lengths to preserve the remaining forest lands around Paris, with several large national forests all in the immediate vicinity of the city. Many of the villages outside of France are also known for their leafy and bucolic settings, making them perfect for the wallabies.
So far government officials have not announced any plan to deal with the wallabies, which currently fall into a legal gray area. Animals in France are generally classified as pets, pests, game, or protected species, but wallabies fall into none of the categories. Since the local wallabies lack natural predators there is a risk that the population could grow out of control if left unchecked.
A rare albino wallaby was also recently spotted in the United Kingdom. It is unclear if the rare albino is part of a larger population or is a lone animal, but like France the UK is rumored to be home to reclusive colonies of wallabies.
More about Wallabies, Invasive species, Paris
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