PASCO -- Is that a kangaroo on the highway?
Many motorists on Interstate 182 in Pasco were probably asking themselves that as they rubbed their eyes to make sure they weren't hallucinating Saturday morning.
Pasco police did get calls around 7 a.m. about a kangaroo loose around Road 68, but officers couldn't find it initially, Sgt. Ben Majetich said.
When the animal got to I-182, however, drivers started calling 911 and the chase was on.
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Pasco officers and Washington State Patrol troopers spent about two hours trying to corral the marsupial as it hopped around on the highway, in the median and crossed back and forth, he said.
"That thing's pretty fast. It's about 31/2 feet high," Majetich said. "Our main concern was obviously the traffic."
There were several near-crashes with vehicles swerving around trying to avoid the animal.
"You're driving down the road minding your own business, what's the last thing you expect to see along the highway?" he asked.
Officers finally got a hold of the owner, who lives on Road 68, and the owner was able to catch the animal near Road 84 and Chapel Hill Boulevard, Majetich said.
"I've chased livestock and deer, but I've never chased a kangaroo," Majetich said. "I hope it's the last."
Majetich said he didn't know how it got loose, but confirmed the owner, who also has a zebra, is legally able to have it.
The owner lives in the "doughnut hole" area of Franklin County that Pasco city officials are trying to annex into the city. There are no restrictions to owning wild animals in that area, he said.
In 2009, the Herald wrote a story about a Pasco couple who started a petting zoo at the nursery and landscaping business they have on Road 68.
If this was the same animal, it actually was a wallaroo, named Roscoe, that was hopping around town. A wallaroo is a cross between a wallaby and a kangaroo.
Roscoe's owners, Zack and Jenny Berg, also have a zebra named Lulu, according to the 2009 story. They got both animals as babies.