Missing pet wallaby found safe in Arlington

ARLINGTON — A pet wallaby was found safe here Saturday evening, five days after he went missing.

Taz, a two-year old male wallaby, was spotted at around 7:30 p.m. near Arlington High School. His owner, Keri Rickard, received a call reporting his whereabouts and drove to the area. She found him, called his name and enticed him with his favorite food: Happy Hopper, an apple-flavored, granola-like food for wallabies. He bounced right over for a treat.

“He’s as happy as can be,” Rickard said.

Taz had been missing since March 16. Rickard suspects something startled the grey-brown wallaby with a white belly enough that he jumped the six-foot fence that surrounds her back yard. The docile creature usually stays in the yard, grazing on grass, Rickard said.

“When he saw his yard last night, he tried to jump out of my arms,” she said. “He was like ‘yay I’m home.’”

Taz was the second wallaby to go missing in the Arlington area in the past three months.

Another wallaby, Bella, disappeared near Highway 530 northeast of town in January. She hasn’t been found. The search for her was called off in late February.

Bella went missing from the Outback Kangaroo Farm in Arlington. It is home to dozens of wallabies and wallaroos — the two smallest types of kangaroo.

Taz has no connection to Bella. Rickard got Taz as a baby from Fall City Wallaby Ranch in the Snoqualmie Valley. He now weighs about 35 pounds and stands less than three feet tall.

Taz is looking forward to a reunion with the Rickard family cat, Obafemi. He’s not so excited about seeing the dog, Carly, a corgi mix.

“He doesn’t like the dog but the dog sure likes him,” Rickard said.

Her children, Keira, 8, Kaylyn, 5, and baby James, are glad to have their pet home.

“We’re as happy as can be,” Rickard said. “There were a lot of people looking for him.”

Herald reporter Kari Bray contributed to this report.

Amy Nile: 425-339-3192; anile@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @AmyNileReports

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