Where’s Wendell?


Wendell disappeared on October 28th – the night of the freak snow storm in Ottawa. A tree fell and broke part of his fenced enclosure and he skedaddled. Wendell was born in captivity and has lived in a private zoo all his life. His disappearance continues to cause quite a stir. He’s in the papers every night. Hundreds of volunteers have been out searching for him.

There have been more Wendell sightings in the last week than there have been Elvis sightings in the last 30 years. And, at 20 kilograms, one meter high, Wendell is a lot smaller than Elvis.

They figure he’ll be okay for food since there are lots of alfalfa fields and apple orchards around, along with plenty of fresh water. But they are worried about him getting hit by a car or eaten by wolves.

I ran away from home once, too. There you are living your life according to someone else’s schedule and interests. You have some idea about the world outside of your enclosure and dream about what that world might be like.

Then one day you see your opportunity and seize it. If Wendell is anything like I was, he’s probably feeling a little rough by now, but still a bit giddy with excitement about being free and independent.

He’ll start planning for the long-term once the initial thrill of being on the lam wears off. He’ll do a bit of research and plot out his next move carefully.

He’s knows he’s got to keep out of sight for a while since everyone is still out hunting him down. If they find him -BAM – he’s back inside; and this time they’ll make sure he never gets away.

So, if I know Wendell, he’s laying low in some sweet little spot, close to plenty of alfalfa and apples and maybe a little babbling brook. And then, before the next cold snap he’ll stow away on a boat to Australia where he can roam wild with his own kind. And live happily ever after.

Go Wendell. Go!

FRIDAY’S WENDELL UPDATE:Although he’s been seen, he keeps eluding his would-be captors. Seems he’s heading toward Ottawa. And then, I think he’ll be off to the airport.

25 responses to “Where’s Wendell?

  1. we have alfalfa fields?

    how sad is it that our top news is the us voting and a missing marsupial

    well no. i guess its better then gang wars and drug deals gone bad

  2. The nice lady who owns Wendell says he’ll be okay for a while, because the weather is so nice and he has a lot of body fat (she calls him a “chunky monkey” in her raspy voice that leads one to believe she’s been a three-pack-a-day smoker for 35 or 40 years). What she’s worried about is that hunting season is now open, and if dogs pick up Wendell’s scent, the chase could cause him to have a heart attack.
    It’s touching when she gets misty and her voice cracks. Wendell is one of her babies, and she wants him at home.

    This part is gross: People who have been out searching for Wendell coat their clothes with wallaby pee, hoping Wendell picks up THEIR scent. Ewwwwww!

  3. Poor little Wendell… would he know to eat the apples and the alfalfa?

    Lots of tails of running away eh? The boy is Barry didn’t fair so well on his adventure.

  4. Jobthingy – That’s been pretty exciting news, really — missing wallaby and new president. What more do you want, woman? World peace? End of famine and poverty? Oprah implodes?

    Bob – Why do these people have a wallaby in the first place? Does “private zoo” mean it’s not open to the public and really they’re just people with a bunch of wild animals as pets? I hope Wendell is enjoying his freedom and eventually makes it back to Oz.

    Nat – From what the papers say, they seem to think he’ll be fine foraging for food and water. And ya, that kid that ran off because his parents took his Nintendo away — very sad.

    Dr. Monkey – I hope so. That would be cool. Monkeys and wallabys don’t belong in cages.

  5. Watch me wallabys feed mate.
    Watch me wallabys feed.
    They’re a dangerous breed mate.
    So watch me wallabys feed.
    Altogether now!

    Rolf Harris seems to think the Wallaby will be alright on his own,

  6. Each night, at dusk, wallabies hop down from the bush to snack on the grassy, vacant lot at the end of my street. They’re hardy creatures – it snows in winter in Tasmania too, though not nearly as much as it does in Canada.

    Out in the western wilds of Tasmania, there may still be thylacines, aka Tasmanian tigers. Supposedly extinct since 1927, over the years they have often been sighted by people written off as crackpots or drunks. I’m not usually a conspiracy theorist, but I believe they are still out there. I hope they are.

  7. Poor Wendell! I hope he is, as you say, enjoying his freedom and living well. But my heart breaks when I think he could be trying to find his way home or is hungry. So sad!

  8. It’s actually a petting zoo that’s open to the public. Heck, it even has its own website, dontcha know?
    The Saunders breed wallabies for other zoos.

    I’m not sure what I think of zoos. In my almost 51 years of life, I’ve never been to one.

  9. Bandobras – Great! Now I won’t be able to get that tune out of my head all day. Thank you.

    Stella – Whooooo Tasmanian tigers…. Do they eat wallabys? I hope Wendell makes it to Tasmania so he can be with his own kind in his natural habitat.

    Debra – I know. Where’s Lesley when you really need her, eh? Rescuer and defender of animals far and wide. Patron saint of the lost and distressed creature and the Audoban Society’s woman of the year. I hope Wendell’s happy.

    Jobthingy – If you promise not to tell, I’ll let you into the super secret Bringin’ Down Oprah Club. If we stick together she can’t get us all.

    Kimberly – Ya, if only he wasn’t all on his own I’d feel better. Like if he had a little lady wallaby to keep him company and they could just hit the road together and sprout little wallabys wherever they go. Romantic, eh?

    Bob – I’m totally not in favour of zoos like this with animals out of their normal habitat exposed to the pawing and groping of humans. A petting zoo of baby farm animals is one thing. A research zoo like the Toronto Zoo or the San Diego Zoo where they are propogating endangered species and helping to reintroduce them into their normal environment is acceptable. The animals have plenty of room and a fairly natural setting with good distances maintained from humans. Any establishment that cages wild animals purely for profit shouldn’t be allowed to exist. Why on earth do we need wallaby breeders in Ontario?

  10. I can’t help thinking that Wendell has already been chomped by some animal or flattened by a semi. I’m a pessimist like that.

  11. Jazz: I just read that Wendall is heading for the bright lights of downtown Ottawa. He’s possibly looking for a Wendy’s (do they have alfalfa salad?), or maybe a Hasty Market.

    All of you in the area should carry a blanket and pillowcase. Anyone caught with a wallaby stuffed pillowcase should be reported to the proper authorities.

  12. Jazz – NO! Don’t say that. People are still seeing him around so we’re pretty sure he hasn’t been flattened or eaten. I would think it’s fairly difficult to catch and eat a wallaby anyway, but who knows.

    Violetsky – I’m never without my blanket and pillow case these days, just in case. I want to find Wendell and help send him to Australia. He obviously doesn’t like where he’s been living.

    Ellie – If he flies Air Canada he’s allowed one carry-on for free.

    Tessa – Hello and nice of you to drop in.. Let me know if Wendell takes you up on your offer. Do wallabys and armadillos get on?

  13. Wallabies like most aussies get along well with anyone. Until they start drinking then watch out.
    Someone should call the littlest hobo and have him come give Wendell a helping hand. That dog could help nearly anything.

  14. First, on a lighter note – Stella, that’s fascinating.

    Second, I’m sorry to do this to a somewhat lighthearted post, but I am still suffering heartbreak for the parents of 15-year-old Brandon Crisp, who stormed off from his Barrie home on October 13th after his parents took away his X-Box over concern of an ‘addiction’ to an on-line video game, “Call Of Duty – Modern Warfare”. He had been missing school and getting up in the middle of the night to play the game, why, by the way, is rated M for Mature. (Not recommended for under 17)
    The search for Brandon ended with the discovery (Nov 5) of human remains by deer hunters, with an autopsy being performed to confirm it was Brandon, and to rule out foul play. (results not yet released (Nov 7), but identity is all but certain)
    When Brandon told his parents he was leaving home, his father told him, “Fine, pack your bag and make sure you bring a warm coat”, thinking his son would come out of his bad mood, and return home after letting off some steam. Now, Steve Crisp will be haunted forever by the last words he said to his son, and the guilt will never leave him. I can’t get over how painful this must be for the Crisp family. Horrible tragedy only begins to describe it.

  15. I think Wendall’s going to show up at Robin’s house and eat out of Clint Eastwood’s bowl. Negotiations will take place. Robin will allow Wendall to stay, on the condition that he only go out during daylight hours and that he not sleep on Robin’s bed or keyboard.

  16. Bandobras – Where IS the Littlest Hobo these days anyway? Cuz maybe tomorrow, he’ll want settle down, but until tomorrow, the whole world is is home.

    JB – Yes, that IS very sad, and a terrible story, but I don’t understand why you’ve chosen to mention it during a discussion about a missing wallaby. It’s in a whole different realm. Are you chastising me for talking about frivolous things like Wendell when there are more important issues?

    Zoom – That would be pretty good too, because living with Robin is the next best thing to living in his natural habitat in Tasmania

  17. I’m glad he’s been spotted! Wendell is definitely heading for the airport and from thence to parts unknown. Here’s hoping he makes it before winter sets in. Somehow I don’t thing wallabies and -20 degree weather mix too well.

  18. HA I was going to write that I’ll start driving around Canada and as soon as I see him…I’ll get him in my car! But you kinda beat me to it! 😉

    Like Buster, Wendell clearly also likes big adventures. We can only hope and pray that his has an equally happy ending. (Oh. Pimping upcoming post. Where said happy ending takes place.)

    Okay. Now I’m just using your blog as my own ad space. RUDE.

    Please keep us updated! This story is totally up my alley. I’m gonna worry for Wendell until I know the outcome! Way less, by the way, than I worried about Waldo.

    Newsguy Bob: Wallaby pee? Seriously??

  19. Violetsky – er.. thanks? I responded on your blog

    Jazz – One report had him heading for Dorval!

    Lesley – Use the blog however you wish, baby. I’ll keep everyone updated. And, yes, people drenched themselves with kangaroo/wallaby pee hoping this would attract Wendell. I mean really — what about a lady wallaby or some nice wine and cheese? I’m always attracted to anything offering wine and cheese.