A north-central Illinois community spent Wednesday afternoon chasing after a wallaroo.
The Australian marsupial is larger than a wallaby, but smaller than a kangaroo. Peru Police Chief Doug Bernabei said people throughout the LaSalle County community, about an hour north of Peoria, spent around two hours tracking the wallaroo's whereabouts through the city's central business district after they became aware of its presence.
The animal tried to escape across the Illinois River. It was pulled from the frigid waters by a couple fishermen and rushed to a veterinarian for emergency care.
The community has affectionally named the animal "Wally." Bernabei said locals are hoping he makes a quick recovery, and is optimistic the wallaroo will survive.
“It would be very difficult to explain how this crazy adventure affected so many people and how all of the police, fire, city employees and so many citizens were cheering for a rescue before it was too late. With only seconds to spare the rescue was made," Bernabei said.
Wally's origins weren't immediately made clear. Bernabei said it appears he's lawfully owned and covered under a state permit.
Late Wednesday, the Bridgeview Veterinary Hospital posted a short video on Wally's recovery and reunification with his owner.