LONG ISLAND, NY --Animal cruelty officers are on the scene in East Rockaway Tuesday, where an anonymous tip led to the discovery of a frail and malnourished wallaby.
The animal, which is considered a zoological cousin to the kangaroo, is native to Australia. How it ended up in squalid conditions in a garage on Long Island is not clear.
"There is not adequate heat in there, there's no food or water and there are feces all over," said Gary Rogers of the Nassau County SPCA. "We are in contact with the district attorney's office about possible charges."
Rogers said the marsupial was kept in a fenced-in trailer inside the garage, where there was not adequate heat.
Veterinarians said the wallaby is an adult male that was chronically malnourished and in very poor condition. He was removed from the home and taken to an animal hospital for treatment. The animal should weigh 40 pounds, but it's estimated to weigh a little more than half that weight.
Authorities said the home is owned by Larry Wallach, a self-described expert on exotic animals. Wallach was not in the home Tuesday and could not be reached for comment.
Such animals cannot be kept legally in the Town of Hempstead, which has jurisdiction in East Rockaway.
Rogers said a ball python was also located inside the home, but local ordinances do not preclude that kind of pet.