NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A kangaroo was on his way back home to upstate New York Saturday afternoon, after hopping away from the home where his owner was staying on Staten Island.
Police were called for a report of a wild animal on the loose near Victory Boulevard and Travis Avenue on Staten Island at 8:36 a.m. Saturday, according to the NYPD.
As CBS2’s Matt Kozar reported, Urim Osmani and his brother, Blron Osmani, were opening up shop Saturday morning at Alb’s Auto Repair, at 1305 Travis Ave., when they spotted a creature hopping around their parking lot.
“When we first came in the morning, we were just pulling the cars out, because we have other cars in the other shop – we couldn’t allow it – and one customer was waiting outside, and he saw something – it looked like a deer. And when it jumped out, we see it’s not a deer, it’s a kangaroo,” Urim Osmani told WCBS 880.
Everyone who saw the kangaroo was shocked, Urim Osmani said.
“To see a kangaroo jumping around, like he just gets up – enjoying the freedom,” he said.
Urim Osmani said the body shop decided to call police.
“He was jumping around the parking lot, and we thought we had to stop him somehow, and the guy called the police. Then right after we called the police came in, the kangaroo jumped inside the driveway that goes toward the back of the houses,” he said.
The male kangaroo – named Buster — came dangerously close to getting hit by a car. He was bouncing along Travis Avenue, a very busy road.
Fortunately, he hopped to safety past the auto body shop.
Surveillance video showed the furry fugitive happily hopping back and forth. But Buster’s big adventure ended when police showed up, finding Buster two houses down from the home where his owner was staying, police said.
Officers cornered him and released him to the custody of his owner.
Police found the owner, who lives upstate. The kangaroo – named Buster – was returned to his owner and headed back upstate with him, police said.
Urim Osmani said he initially thought the kangaroo must have escaped from a zoo.
“We thought that it was coming from Staten Island Zoo, but figured out how far away the Staten Island Zoo is from here – it’s kind of far away,” he said. “Then we figure out that it’s somebody’s kangaroo.”
The owner was not charged, as it is not a violation to keep kangaroos where the man lived, police said. It is, however, illegal to keep kangaroos as pets in New York City, police told 1010 WINS.
Police said the 3-foot tall, 1 1/2-year-old kangaroo was being kept in a yard with a six-foot fence on Staten Island, but the gate was left unsecured.
It was not known late Saturday afternoon why the kangaroo was brought to New York City.
“Something you never see every day,” said Blron Osmani. “It was definitely fun.”
Three years ago in the same area, a zebra named Razzi and a pony named Casper got loose after their owner left a gat open. The two dashed down Victory Boulevard.