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This Planet Spotlight was created on May 17, 2015 @ 10:24:56 pm

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Wildlife Wisconsin Zoo Animals Stolen

kangaroo stolen.jpg


A baby kangaroo and four baby goats were stolen from a zoo in Greenville, Wisconsin, last week, officials said.

Donna Wheeler, owner of the Special Memories Zoo, said the baby kangaroo, called a joey, and the goats had been at their winter home about six to eight miles away from the zoo, in a large, insulated shed.

The babies were bottle fed Tuesday night, but when workers went to the shed around midday Wednesday to start moving animals to the zoo in anticipation of Thursday's opening day, the five baby animals were gone, Wheeler told ABC News. She said the facility was not locked.

"Whoever took [the joey] pulled it out of the mother's pouch," Wheeler said.

Animal caretaker Gretchen Crowe said she realized the joey was gone when its mother's pouch was hanging out.

"I knew that somebody had to have taken them because there's no way that they can get out of the building," said Crowe.

According to the Outagamie County Sheriff's Office, which responded to the stolen animals report, the joey was 5 months old, and baby kangaroos must stay with their mother for the first year of life.

"I believe the baby kangaroo is dead," Wheeler said. "It cannot live without its mother, it cannot live without special formula, it cannot live without heat."

"You can't just feed it anything," she said. "I'm thinking by now ... if a person took it who knew what they were doing it probably has a chance of living. But if somebody didn't ... I know we've got high school kids around, if someone did it as a joke, I'm sure by now it's probably dead."

"I feel absolutely horrible. We do everything in our power to keep animals alive," Wheeler said. "Right now my stomach is just turning to think somebody would do that."

"Whoever has them, if you would just bring them back," Crowe said. "We just want them back."

As of last Saturday, no progress had been made in the search for the animals, said Mike Bouchard, a spokesman for the Outagamie County Sheriff's Office.

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