Common misconception: the Czech Republic shares a border with Austria, not Australia.
But that distinction may have been lost on some over the past few days.
In Hellmonsödt, northern Austria, about 20 kilometers south of Vyšší Brod by the Czech-Austrian border, numerous reports of a kangaroo roaming the forests and meadows and been received by authorities over the past week.
The kangaroo, a national symbol of Australia, is of course not native to Austria.
Assuming the marsupial has escaped captivity, Austrian authorities have been attempting to locate its owners. So far, they have not had any luck.
“We have called all the zoos and kangaroo breeders around us, but no one is missing a kangaroo,” a representative from Hellmonsödt police told AFP.
“We hope the owner will come forward.”
Until then, however, authorities aren’t trying to catch the displaced marsupial. Remarking that kangaroos are “shy animals,” the representative told AFP that both humans and the kangaroo itself had little to fear.
“Its survival chances [in the wild] are perfect.”
This isn’t the first kangaroo in Austria to be spotted on the loose. In 2015, a kangaroo named Anton escaped from its owner and was photographed in the snowy wilderness by Braunau, near the German border.
— DailyEdge (@dailyedge) January 29, 2015
The marsupial sightings may soon put an end to one of Austria’s favorite tourist slogans. T-shirts, magnets, and other items bearing the phrase “no kangaroos in Austria”, emphasizing the country’s confusion with Australia among some English speakers, have long been popular souvenirs.