Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Isle of Man wallaby population 'increasing'

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Media captionThe Wallabies escaped from a wildlife park in the 1970s

The Isle of Man's wild wallaby population is gradually increasing, according to wildlife experts.

Manx Wildlife Trust director Duncan Bridges said there are now about 120 living in the north of the island.

The animals, which are native to Australia, have populated the Curragh since a pair escaped from a wildlife park in the 1970s.

Mr Bridges said: "Their numbers are gradually increasing because they have no predators or competitors."

He added: "They have quite happily established themselves on the island, they graze on grasslands, forage willow and young shrubs - basically they fill the niche filled in the UK by small deer.

"Normally they stay in the same area but there have been sightings in the south of the island so we know some individuals are travelling."

Although there has been no official wallaby head count, a few years ago the Manx population was thought to be at the 100 mark.

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