WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Indy, the 8-year-old North Salem wallaby that has been missing for almost three years, was recently spotted in Yorktown, according to the owner of the animal native to Australia labeled as smaller cousins to kangaroos.
Officials from the Department of Environmental Protection were inspecting Amawalk Dam with infrared lighting in the middle of the night on Jan. 29 and spotted Indy at Lake Drive near Ashton Road in Yorktown, according to Susan Bush, who cared for Indy with her husband, Warren Saks at their North Salem home.
After they saw Indy, the wallaby hopped into the woods, Bush said. The DEP told Bush that Indy was in good shape with no apparent injuries.
"We are thrilled he has survived almost three years on his own," Bush said. "He seems to have an excellent sense of smell."
Indy was reported missing in March 2014, as first reported by Daily Voice. Bush and Saks believe he ran out of their fenced yard after deer broke their fence and frightened him. Since he went missing, wallaby sightings have popped up all over Westchester.
Bush said Indy doesn't make noise, so if he was standing at the door, they would have no way of knowing.
Like most wallabies, Indy has now become a nocturnal animal. When he lived in North Salem, he adopted to a diurnal schedule, though Saks and Bush left the downstairs light on for him all night.
"This probably explains why there have been few sightings," Bush said. "He would sleep during the day in a very protected, thickly wooded setting with branches, brush and preferably for him a thick evergreen tree with branches to the ground. Often, we ourselves could not find him in our own yard when going out to have him come in."
Bush said they tried to donate Indy to a zoo but were rebuffed since the zoos already had wallabies and Indy is neutered.
"If we were to get him back, we would still try and place him in a setting where he could be free," Bush said earlier this summer. "We want him to be outside with other wallabies."
Indy had been a member of the family for five years after their son rescued him from someone in upstate New York who took Indy to schools and kept him in a playpen.
Bush said Indy likes to eat roses and loves the outdoors. He also feeds on wheat thins, Triscuits, rice cakes and sweet potatoes.
Bush said she is relieved Indy has not broken his leg or suffered any other kind of injury while roaming the woods of Westchester and Putnam.
"It's amazing he has done as well as he's done," Bush said. "I'm glad he's had his adventure, but I wish he would come home. We miss him."
Anyone who has spotted Indy should call the family at 914-669-0006 or 646-628-6228.
To see footage of Indy on Animal Planet, click here.
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