A WALLABY spotted roaming the countryside hasn’t packed its bags and headed to the UK to enjoy the warm weather - experts say it has probably broken lose from a nearby petting farm or home.

Several residents have reported spotting the creature, which is native to Australia, New Guinea and New Zealand, by roadsides and on estates in the Braintree area in the past few days.

Gemma Lake, who lives in Great Notley, was contacted by her brother Steven Clack after he spotted the bouncing animal.

Mr Clack was driving along Deanery Hill, Braintree, on Friday morning when he spotted it, and, in a video posted online can be heard exclaiming: “It’s a...kangaroo!”

Mrs Lake, 35, said: “At first it had been in the middle of the road but it moved over and he said it seemed to be very calm.

“He pulled over by the side of the road to get a video of it - he was definitely surprised, you can hear exactly what he thought of it in the video.

“He called the RSPCA and they asked him if he could still see it but he’d gone to work by then.”

A wallaby was also spotted bouncing around Bailey Bridge Road by residents Sue Ashfield on Saturday morning.

Some petting farms in the district are home to wallabies and Hill Farm in Great Bardfield is one of them. Alan Jackman, the owner, confirmed all of their wallabies are present and correct.

He said: “They’re perfectly capable of living in the UK countryside, they’ll eat leaves but their main predators are dogs - a dog would be able to catch it.

“If anyone does spot it again they shouldn’t approach it because they’re tricky to get hold of and it will scratch, but it’s main defence mechanism is to run away.”

Nicola White, senior RSPCA scientific officer, said: “Most people may be unaware that wallabies are considered established in the wild in Britain, as a result of escaping from captivity, although they are not a native species to the UK.

“Some people also keep them as pets, so it’s possible this wallaby is lost or has escaped from a private property.”

The RSPCA advise people to watch the animals from afar and not to approach.

Call 0300 1234 999 to report an injured wallaby.

Watch Steven Clack's video below. Warning: Explicit language.