The Bizarre Reason So Many Kangaroo Sightings Are Reported in Wisconsin
Wisconsin may be most well known for its cheese, beer, and plethora of beautiful lakes to visit, but apparently, it's pretty lenient on what exotic animals you can have as pets too.
Kangaroos in Wisconsin?
Just when I thought I knew everything I needed to know about Wisconsin, I saw a post about the state's long history of reported kangaroo sightings in the Strange Wisconsin Facebook group. Kangaroos in Wisconsin?!? I know a lot of drinking goes on up North, so are these just drunken tales, or is there some truth behind them?
Some of the comments Wisconsites left on the Facebook post said;
True story, there was someone along a certain road in Muskego that kept kangaroos (they possibly still do, but I no longer live there). One time, we had to hold the classes at the high school after dismissal because "the kangaroo is on the loose again.
There were a lot of kangaroo reports around Waukesha in early 1978. Years later two articles in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel blamed them on a cut-out propped near the road. That would definitely NOT be a blanket explanation, because of the motion and angle of view.
There have been many Kangaroo Sightings over the years. Some have claimed there are several breeding populations of kangaroos in Wisconsin. In 1978 there was one sighted and eventually caught by the Sheriff's Department in Iowa County, Wisconsin.
Ok, I'm starting to think kangaroos really do have a history of hopping around Wisconsin, but why? Do they keep escaping from zoos? Are people breeding them illegally? Turns out, the explanation is pretty simple; the kangaroos are lost pets.
Is It Legal to Have a Pet Kangaroo in Wisconsin?
Technically, it is NOT illegal to have a pet Kangaroo in Wisconsin, because there is no state law requiring residents to have a permit to own one.
So, what's the catch?
A 2019 article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says;
Regulation is left to local governments, said Leeann Duwey, the public information officer for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.
Now for one final blow on your moving-to-Wisconsin-and-having-a-pet-kangaroo-dreams; a permit IS required to bring a kangaroo into the state, and I'm willing to bet that's not very easy to get. What a bummer!