South Florida

After one kangaroo makes a run for it, 6 more are removed from South Florida owner

Storm the kangaroo was captured after escaping from from his owner earlier this week.
Storm the kangaroo was captured after escaping from from his owner earlier this week. FWC

The escape and recent capture of a fugitive kangaroo named Storm earlier this week has led state officials to remove six more kangaroos from its South Florida owner Friday.

Storm ran away on Tuesday from his home in Jupiter Farms, just northwest of Palm Beach Gardens. The 5-year-old marsupial — just shy of 4 feet in height and 45 pounds in weight — was ultimately spotted by two Palm Beach residents the next day standing near a mailbox on a patch of grass. Storm was then reunited with his licensed owner, Eric Westergard.

But that reunification didn’t last very long. According to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials, Storm and six other kangaroos were removed from Westergard’s captive wildlife facility in Jupiter Farms Friday morning.

State officials say a recent inspection done after the escape revealed “enclosure deficiencies.”

“To prevent any further escapes, the kangaroos are being temporarily held at another licensed facility until all deficiencies are rectified by Mr. Westergard,” FWC spokesman Robert Klepper said in a statement.

Klepper said he would not name the facility where the kangaroos are being held or offer more details about the deficiencies until the case is closed.

Klepper noted that ”caging issues that allow for an escape of a captive animal are classified as second-degree misdemeanors.”

However, Westergard, who could not be reached for comment Friday, was not arrested or cited as of Friday.

  Comments