A domesticated baby kangaroo named Lulu was fatally struck by a hit-and-run driver in Wisconsin on Tuesday after she escaped from her owners.
Shawano natives John and Rita Mondus were out searching for their missing marsupial when the unexpected happened, the Shawano County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
The couple, who owns a petting farm with 79 animals, found Lulu and were trying to coax her back home when a vehicle struck the kangaroo.
John Mondus tried to signal the driver to stop, but was also hit in the chest by the side mirror and his left foot was run over. He was treated at a nearby hospital with minor injuries.
“I’ve got pictures of her with kids every night, someone was always feeding her a bottle or playing with her,” Rita told the Green Bay Press Gazette. “She was a special little girl and full of a lot of love.”
The kangaroo had been missing since Sunday night. She had been left alone in a fenced-in area with a wallaby, also a resident at the Mondus’ home, and escaped within 15 minutes.
“She had never ever tried to hop a fence, a chair or anything before,” Rita said. “It really was just an absolute fluke.”
The vehicle’s driver reportedly “stopped a short distance down the road and exited the vehicle saying, ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry,’ ” Sheriff Adam Bieber said.
“The suspect then left the scene, and is described as a female in her mid-20’s, 5’ 5” to 5’ 7”; with glasses and shoulder length hair.”