LACHOOCHEE, Fla. (CBS Tampa) - Area residents were taken by surprise after looking out their windows and seeing an unexpected visitor – a kangaroo – making its way through town.
Dispatchers with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office received numerous calls about the marsupial as it made its way through Lacoochee. It wasn’t until a call about the creature’s path, which would have put him in the middle of a major road, that officers began to take action.
What ensued was a several-hour pursuit of the animal, which involved not only deputies from the Agricultural Unit of the Sheriff’s Office, but officers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission as well.
Despite the manpower involved, wrangling the animal proved rather difficult.
“We attempted to Taser the kangaroo,” Deputy Gene Smith told CBS affiliate WTSP-TV. “That had no effect.”
Ultimately, the kangaroo was captured by area resident Kevin Wehling, who happened to be in the right place at the right time while watching the spectacle that unfolded before him.
“It was headed toward 301, and I didn’t want to see anybody run it over or get in an accident,” he told the station.
He then overpowered the animal by wrestling it to the ground. Other officers quickly joined in to help.
“It was a pretty big and extremely strong animal,” Smith recalled. “It wasn’t until I grabbed those legs that I realized just how strong they were.”
He added, “It doesn’t look like that on TV.”
Authorities are continuing to investigate the origin of the animal, WTSP learned.