What Happened To Minnesota’s Kangaroos?

Posted by: Loren Coleman on October 10th, 2009

Mystery kangaroo reports use to be a dime a dozen, so to speak, from various states in the Midwest, with one of the most frequent hotspots being SE Minnesota.

For example, in November 2005, a columnist in that state told of recent sightings there, but the details given were very vague.

Around Cloquet Pine Knot, Minnesota, according to the Pine Journal, “the phone lines buzzed with people who had either already seen the kangaroo or who wanted to and wanted to know which alfalfa field he was in. The farming area to the west of town quickly filled with families in cars, cruising around slowly, looking for the visiting foreigner. Veterinarians were called by reporters to see if anyone had a pet kangaroo who might have escaped. The local zoo is 25 miles away, but it quickly counted noses and couldn’t come up with any kangaroo shortages. The Great Kangaroo Hunt lasted until dark.”

Reports of cryptid kangaroos or at least cryptids that look like kangaroos are nothing new for Minnesota, as I write about in Mysterious America.

Anyone have more details on any recent sightings?


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Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

9 Responses to “What Happened To Minnesota’s Kangaroos?”

  1. cryptidsrus responds:

    I don’t live in Minnesota…Sorry.

    One question:

    Were these reports of MULTIPLE kangaroos seen AT ONE TIME? Just asking. 🙂

  2. BelieveInZombies responds:

    I don’t know about any Kangaroo sightings but apparently there has been a Wallaby on the loose lately in the Savage (close to Minneapolis) area recently

  3. coelacanth1938 responds:

    Maybe someone tied them down…

  4. David-Australia responds:

    Hey, kangaroos are no big deal – in Australia we see the pesky critters all the time! It’s just about impossible to visit any public camping site (here on the east coast of NSW at least) without a whole bunch of semi-tame (or at least, used to humans) kangaroos roaming and grazing at will (and at present, the females all have “joeys” in their pouches)…..

    Sydney NSW Australia.

  5. hetzer88 responds:

    Just so nobody ever forgets, a phantom kangaroo was actually tracked and caught in Wisconsin–that’s a Minnesota’s’ next door neighbor–in the winter of 2005. I lived about 50 miles away from that area at the time, and I recall the local news reports about this kangaroo. The usual theories about it having escaped from a zoo, or having gotten loose from somewhere and ended up here, were the only reasons given for where it was. Some vet finally came on and said it was lucky they found it because there was no way it would have survived a Wisconsin winter.

    I always had a problem with that kangaroo. Firstly, in the ’70’s, a suburb of Milwaukee called Waukesha was dubbed ‘Kangaroo County’ because of the loads of reports of kangaroos hopping around out there. They were seen at all times of the year, and apparently none of them died out during the winter. Besides, the pic they sent around of the one they caught looked like it had a real thick winter coat and could easily survive a winter here, especially holed up in a barn or other outbuilding, which apparently this one was.

    Secondly, to this day, not one person has ever come forward to claim ownership of or the knowledge of where it came from. If this was a pet, or a zoo loss, or a transfer from a circus or something, somebody would have said something about losing a kangaroo! But no one has.

    So, who knows, maybe Loren knows more about this, but I will supply a link to the [outdated] basics of this story. And to that end, please Minnesota, keep your kangaroos to yourself, we here in Wisconsin have enough of our own!!

  6. omne51 responds:

    My wife works for a local media outlet in Rochester, MN (SE MN) and I am a Police Officer in Rochester. Between the two of us, we usually have any weird stories or reports ‘covered.’

    Unfortunately, we have not heard anything about kangaroos in the area.

    One of our Officers did catch a black bear on his squad video about 5 years ago (which is rare but not unique in this area of the state).

  7. JGreg responds:

    As a native Minnesotan I have heard of a number of out of place critters in this state including kangaroos and wallabys.

    For the record, Cloquet is in the Northeastern part of Minnesota and the zoo 25 miles away would be in Duluth. I don’t remember seeing any kangaroos or wallabys there when I’ve visited it but the last time was some years ago.

    My favorite Minnesota kangaroo story Occured near Garrison, Minnesota on the west shore of Mille Lac Lake in central Minnesota an hour north of Minneapolis. This happened, I believe in the early ’90s. A man was on his way to Hallock, Minnesota (in the far Northwestern corner of the state) to rejoin a small circus with his trained kangaroo act. While staying overnight in Garrison, the kangaroo made a break for it and was on the lam for several days. It was eventually caught in a DNR deer trap but there were surprisingly few sightings reported. The reason was probably best summed up by an elderly man who, after the kangaroo was captured, came forward to say he had seen it hop by his trailer one evening but declined to tell anyone at the time because he was sure if he had said anything his wife would have put him in a home right then and there!

    There was also a wallaby hoax around the town of Zumbrota about 40 miles Southeast of Minnapolis-St. Paul in the “60s (I think) when a town jokester looking to both liven things up and generate some publicity borrowed a wallaby and released it in the area. A wallaby hunt was gotten up with much attendent publicity and it was eventually recaptured. Zumbrota even held a Wallaby Days festival for several years thereafter.

  8. pandafarmer responds:

    I grew up in Duluth, MN which is just north of Cloquet. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to have kangaroo sightings up there because the Duluth Zoo had a small breeding population. It wasn’t too strange to have one escape now and again. But I don’t know how it would survive for too long in the cold weather without assistance from a vet, as in the zoo.

  9. Oz responds:

    Here in Hawaii we don’t have any kangaroos (as far as I know), but we have a breeding population of Rock Wallabies (which are apparently getting rare in Oz). They are the descendents of two escapees (documented, not a rumour) and normally live up above the west side of Honolulu in Kalihi Valley. They do sometimes wander down from the hills. In 2002 one managed to find its way into Foster Village, a major housing complex some miles out from downtown Honolulu, but just a half mile or so from Pearl Harbor and the airport.

    They don’t do any harm, don’t compete with any native species, and are generally conceded to be pretty cool, so they are given some protection by the state (and more by the terrain). You can see some of the terrain at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1a6ABF9NeMk


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