Alternatively known as Mystery Kangaroos and Phantom Kangaroos — but in the USA popularly branded as American Kangaroos.
Kangaroos that have been inexplicably sighted in the countryside — and even suburban streets — in the United States of America and Europe.
Kangaroo sightings in the new world were — until Forteans David Fideler and Loren Coleman researched the subject — believed to be exclusively misidentifications of indigenous creatures, with the first ones reported in the early 1900s. Since then several appearances have been reported throughout the years, and even occasionally captured in film. Footprints have also been found, giving some credibility to the stories.
Theories about these sightings abound, including the one that these animals are somehow isolated survivors of some sort of native marsupial. Others believe they have escaped from zoos or circuses, but records of such escapes amount to only two (both in 1968), making it very unlikely due to the amount of reports and to the history of them. Still kangaroos continue to be sighted in North America.
In Europe the weird phenomena of out-of-place kangaroos take place as well, with sightings reported in the UK and Germany. Mainstream scientists have already accepted the idea that these reports are the result of a small breeding population of feral kangaroos, most likely escapees from zoos or the circus, even though these occurrences are also rare in the European continent.
Mystery kangaroos descriptions vary. Some are of normal kangaroos, but others describe the beasts as being oversized, giant animals, and some even claim that the creatures have killed and eaten sheep, making them carnivorous. In the Americas some people have suggested that these sightings are probably of the Chupacabra, an alleged carnivore cryptid that supposedly hops around in kangaroo like fashion. Other witnesses claim that the animals just disappeared right in front of their eyes, placing these cases in the category of supernatural events, instead of cryptid animal observations.
Initially mystery kangaroo reports sparked massive ridicule. As the evidence pool grew, with photographs, footprints, and the apparent sincerity of witnesses (a significant number of them police officers who stood by their stories), skeptics somewhat relaxed their doubts. How the beasts got to where they were spotted is the greater mystery now.
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Sources: (1) Blackman, W. Haden, The Field Guide to North American Monsters, Three Rivers Press; (2) Coleman, Loren, Mysterious America, Paraview Press; (3) Clark, Jerome, Unexplained!, Visible Ink Press.
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