Pantoufle the Wallaby was spotted hopping around St. Albans on Wednesday night.

SAINT ALBANS, WV (WOWK) — After a wallaby was seen in Saint Albans on Wednesday, many people are left wondering “What exactly is a wallaby?”

National Geographic says wallabies are mammals and members of the kangaroo family. The main difference between a wallaby and a kangaroo is in size — wallabies are smaller. They primarily live in Australia and nearby islands.


Wallaby Quick Facts

  • Scientific name: Notamacropus
  • Mammal type: Marsupial
  • Average wild lifespan: 9 years
  • Diet: Herbivore
  • Size: 12 to 41 inches; tail: 10 to 29 inches
  • Weight: 4 to 53 pounds

All wallabies are marsupials, meaning they are pouched mammals. They are considered macropod marsupials because they have large feet. Wallabies are herbivores.

Wallabies have strong legs for hopping and kicking predators. Their tails help them balance while hopping or perching.

There are many types of wallabies, mainly named after their habitat: shrub wallabies, brush wallabies and rock wallabies. Some wallabies are grouped by behavior, like the hare wallaby, which acts like a hare.

Wallabies in West Virginia

You don’t have to travel all the way to Australia to see a wallaby. The Good Zoo at Oglebay Resort in Wheeling has an exhibit of red-necked wallabies and red kangaroos.

“We feed the mob a pelleted kangaroo and wallaby diet, grapes, bananas, carrots, and yams,” the Good Zoo’s website says. “The mob loves peanuts, fresh grape leaves, fig newtons, hide structures, play pieces, bedding materials, and punching bags!”

You can meet a wallaby at the Good Zoo by scheduling an animal encounter. Encounters can be booked online or via phone at (304) 243-4100.

Surprisingly, it is legal to own a wallaby in West Virginia. They are not on the Mountain State’s list of banned pets.


All information is courtesy of National Geographic and the Good Zoo. To learn more about wallabies, click here.