South Scotland

'Wallaby' caught on camera in Borders countryside

Black and white picture of mystery animal Image copyright AP

A retired farmer believes a wallaby is living wild in the Scottish Borders after capturing footage of a mystery animal on film.

Jim Shanks set up a specialist wildlife camera amid rumours that a large cat was on the loose near his home between Hawick and St Boswells.

After three weeks, he finally caught two photographs of an animal about the size of a dog, with a very long tail.

"I'm pretty certain it's a wallaby," said Mr Shanks.

The former cheesemaker, from Belses, said a neighbour had seen a similar-looking animal crossing the road close to their homes.

Before setting up the camera, he had been concerned the mysterious creature could pose a threat to farm animals.

Image copyright Jim Shanks

However wallabies, which are primarily found in Australia, are herbivores - mainly eating grass and plants.

Mr Shanks, 68, said: "I got a lend of a camera from a friend and I had it going for three weeks and I had just about given up looking.

"Then I left it for five or six days and I had 100 or so pictures of rabbits, squirrels, badgers and deer.

"But then there were two pictures of this animal. It was quite a bit of fun to find."

A colony of wallabies live on Inchconnachan, an island in Loch Lomond, after Lady Arran Colquhoun introduced them in the 1920s.

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