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Young Shetland Writer 2018 - 1 June 2018

Wallabies bring Aussie touch to Burra

| Written by Chris Cope

THERE has been an unusual sight in Burra over the last few weeks in the shape of two young wallabies which have brought a touch of Australia to the island.

The animals, which are named Ned and Kelly, were brought to Shetland from North Yorkshire by Tasmania native Dave Kok in December.

The care worker said he wanted to tap into life back home by bringing the animals to Shetland.

He keeps the marsupials next to The Outpost, a small cabin in east Burra which he opens to locals and tourists on a semi-regular basis and is filled with Australia memorabilia alongside home-brewed beer and cider.

Struan Haswell helped to create Ned and Kelly's habitat in addition to looking after them.

But it might not stop there, with the wallabies potentially in line to have babies – while Dave is keen on bringing emus, cockatoos and sugar gliders to Burra too.

Shetland News recently visited the wallabies and had a chat with Dave – watch our video above.

"I've always wanted to have wallabies here in Shetland. I'm not getting home much and I miss home - the sights and sounds and the animals and all that," Dave said.

"I think that they'll do really well with the Shetland climate and it's just been a bit of a passion for years now."

Dave also has goats and pigs which visitors can feed when they drop by at the rural stop-off.

"[The wallabies have] added to the carry-on we've got here I guess with the other animals," he said.

"Folk that come around are fairly interested in them. It's good for the kids, it's even good for the adults who have never seen anything like that before."

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