A viewer thought animal in Macomb County could be missing Detroit Zoo wallaby. We asked the zoo

Joey missing since early May, not believed to be alive

Photo of animal in Washington Township from viewer Margaret. (WDIV)

The Detroit Zoo may have called off the search for its missing wallaby joey, but people in Metro Detroit still have their eyes peeled for the 5-month-old animal.

A viewer from Washington Township, Margaret S., emailed ClickOnDetroit’s Cassidy Johncox on Friday morning, showing a couple of photos of an animal on the roof of a home, suggesting it could be the missing joey.

Photo of animal on roof in Washington Township from viewer Margaret S. (Margaret S)

We compared the photos of the animal to the photos we had of the missing joey. There were a few similarities, but some of the features looked a bit different. Either way, we thought we’d check with the zoo on the small chance it actually was the missing wallaby.

A spokesperson for the zoo told us that the viewer had also sent them the photos, and the zoo’s life sciences team identified the animal as a gray squirrel. Why the squirrel was looking unwell is a mystery, but it could be something like mange.

Squirrel vs. wallaby. (WDIV)

Regardless, it was not the missing joey. It was just a squirrel.

A baby wallaby, known as a “joey,” was found to be missing from the Australian Outback Adventure habitat at the Detroit Zoo on the morning of Sunday, May 8. Officials said the joey was last seen by animal care staff members at 5 p.m. on May 7.

After days of searching, zoo officials determined that the joey couldn’t have escaped from its enclosure, and that it was unlikely the baby wallaby was taken by a visitor. The zoo released a statement last week saying they believe a hawk or an owl are the main suspects in the wallaby’s disappearance.

The Detroit Zoo announced Friday, May 13, that it will no longer search for the wallaby joey after exhausting “every resource” at its disposal, and because they don’t believe the animal is still alive. The zoo had initially announced the birth of the wallaby joey on Friday, May 6. The joey was so young that its gender had yet to be determined.


About the Authors:

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.