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How Hillsborough deputies wrangled Hopper, a loose kangaroo in Tampa

The 7-year-old kangaroo in question was found a mile away from where he was first spotted.
 
Hillsborough County sheriff's Deputy Daniel “Red” Jones with Hopper, the 7-year-old kangaroo found wandering the streets of Tampa.
Hillsborough County sheriff's Deputy Daniel “Red” Jones with Hopper, the 7-year-old kangaroo found wandering the streets of Tampa. [ Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office ]
Published Feb. 9|Updated Feb. 9

The call came in at 4:27 a.m. Thursday from a Tampa apartment complex.

“There’s a kangaroo in my, uh, apartment complex,” a confused resident told 911.

According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the kangaroo was first spotted near Fowler Avenue and 56th Street in Temple Terrace.

By the time deputies arrived, the 7-year-old kangaroo named Hopper had made his way to Arbor Pointe Circle, about 1 mile away.

Around 5 a.m., patrol deputies, K-9 and aviation units attempted to get the kangaroo into an enclosed pool area so they could usher him into a trailer.

The call about a large kangaroo named Hopper came in Thursday at 4:27 a.m. from a Tampa apartment complex.
The call about a large kangaroo named Hopper came in Thursday at 4:27 a.m. from a Tampa apartment complex. [ Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office ]

About 45 minutes later, Hopper was secure.

From there, the sheriff’s office said Hopper was inspected while the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission tried to track down the kangaroo’s owners.

A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office was unable to provide the names of the kangaroo’s owners, but said they have the proper paperwork for him and that they even have a second kangaroo.

The wildlife commission requires Floridians to obtain a permit to keep wildlife as a personal pet. The personal permit allows the pet owner to keep the pet at a specific address, travel with it and take it to the vet.

“The kangaroo has been fed and cared for by our deputies,” a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office told the Tampa Bay Times on Thursday afternoon. “The owners are driving to our range right now ... to retrieve their kangaroo.”