By Tia Lynn Ivey
After multiple sightings reported in Morgan County, a video filmed near Covington confirms that a Kangaroo was indeed on the loose. The video, which circulated on social media, seemed to lend credence to kangaroo sightings in Morgan County, but don’t hop to conclusions just yet, Mason Ray, a Rutledge man who posted a video of frantic kangaroo bouncing through a Covington back yard, says the kangaroo is being kept by his girlfriend’s mother, a zoologist, and has never escaped. Ray declined to identify the names of his girlfriend or her mother, but said they are temporarily housing the kangaroo.
“The kangaroo is not a pet,” said Ray. “Her mom is a zoologist and takes care of animals for a period of time.”
In the video, a quick flash of a furry black creature can been seen bouncing erratically across an outdoor deck. Bystanders excitedly shout about cornering a kangaroo. Astonishingly, the camera pans to an actual Kangaroo hurriedly hopping around, trying to escape the view of onlookers.
Ray recorded the sighting on his phone, capturing over 30 seconds of up close footage of the marsupial. A voice off camera can be heard saying “It has a diaper,” as the excited young men chase the kangaroo across the deck and back yard, trying to pet it.
While the video appears to capture a random sighting of a wild kangaroo, Ray says it’s just not so and definitely is not that kangaroo others have reported seeing.
“It’s not the same kangaroo. This kangaroo has been raised here since it was born,” said Ray.
But there have been multiple previously reported sightings of a kangaroo in Morgan County—claims many believed were too outrageous to be true. Last month, the local retired teacher claimed to see a kangaroo hopping along the side of Old Buckhead near the old General Store, close to the intersection at Apalachee River Road. The woman’s husband called in the sighting to Morgan County Dispatch and requested anonymity in the story precisely because she did not want to be perceived as delusional. When her husband called in the sighting to Morgan County Dispatch, the operator laughed, initially scoffing at the report.
“It didn’t look like a deer,” she said. “I took a second look and it was hopping.”
But after the Morgan County Citizen reported her sighting, more locals came forward to report their own kangaroo sightings.
Leah Anne Sellers, an employee of Morgan County High School, said she saw a kangaroo four years ago near the intersection of Apalachee River Road and Sugar Creek Church Road. “It looked like a gigantic Jack Rabbit,” she said.
Sellers said the beast “jumped as high as my hood over the road” in front of her. She was in a vehicle at night and saw the animal in her headlights.
“I promise you, it wasn’t a deer,” she said.
The anonymous woman’s sighting gave sellers some peace of mind.
“I’m just glad I’m getting my sanity back,” Sellers said with a laugh.
The second woman who wished to remain anonymous said three years ago she was leaving her sister’s house on Deer Track Road when she saw what she believes to be a kangaroo 25 yards away from her vehicle. “it just started hopping,” she said.
She said she reported the sighting to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and told her family. “My family has made fun of me,” she laughs. “They thought I was crazy.”
Her father purchased and placed a “kangaroo crossing” sign and placed it in his daughter’s yard.
“I told my dad, ‘I know what I saw, I’m not crazy,’ she said.
Is the kangaroo in the new video footage the same beast spotted by Morgan County residents? Are there more escaped kangaroos bouncing through forests of Morgan County? Or is this all just a coincidence and the kangaroo sightings in Morgan County are all a figment of people’s imaginations? No one knows for sure as of yet, but if you have any information regarding the mysterious kangaroo sightings, reach out to the Morgan County Citizen at (706) 342-7440.