HE caused heads to turn after escaping from his enclosure, but perhaps all Wally the walkabout wallaby was looking for was a little female company.

The five-year-old fully grown male marsupial was snapped by startled motorists on a rural roadside in Teesdale, County Durham, earlier this week.

Wally's owner was alerted by a work colleague and with the help of a neighbour, the distinctive white wallaby was led back to the compound.

His owner has asked not to be named and The Northern Echo has agreed not to disclose the location of Wally's home.

“I have had him for about three-and-a-half years. I got him when he was already fully grown,” said his owner.

“What I really need is a mate for him. The previous female partner I had to keep Wally company was barren.”

Wally is normally quite happy enjoying the run of his large enclosure, but his owner believes he must have found a small hole in the perimeter fence through which he escaped earlier this week.

“He is pretty easy to keep and he has never bothered venturing out before,” he said.

“A workmate rang me to say he had got out. He did not take much catching. He is friendly with me and comes to me.

“Wallabies are rodents really, but I think they are lovely. This one is quite a heavy one – there is always plenty of food for him to eat.

“He was bred in the south of England. I know a lot of people round the country and I just ended up with him.”

Although native to Australia and used to a hot climate, Wally manages perfectly well to cope with the North-East weather.

“He has plenty of straw and shelter, although he normally picks his own place to stay,” added his owner.

“However, you can't put him on a concrete pad in the winter as his feet would get frostbite.”

In fact, the only thing missing from Wally's life is some company, and his owner is keen to hear from anyone else in the region who keeps wallabies.

If anyone can help, contact Stuart Laundy on 01388-602232 or email stuart.laundy@nne.co.uk and details will be forwarded to Wally's owner.