Saturday, 20 October 2018

Jack finds grass greener on the other side

JACK the capybara has made another public appearance as he continues to evade capture.

JACK the capybara has made another public appearance as he continues to evade capture.

Since escaping from the Fawley Hill estate of Sir William and Lady McAlpine in June, the giant rodent has been spotted as far as Maidenhead and Marlow and last week I reported how he was seen in Hennerton Backwater, near Wargrave.

Now he has popped up again on the other side of the river.

Marie and Ruaidhri Davidson were canoeing on the stretch of the Thames which passes Bolney Road in Shiplake when they spotted the furry fugitive in the garden of a house. They promptly alerted the residents, retired couple Michael and Joan Jolley, who were surprised to see the visitor munching on their grass.

Mrs Davidson, a teacher, of Lashbrook Road, Lower Shiplake, said: “We called the RSPCA and they said that because it wasn’t injured and wasn’t a threat they could not send anyone.

“We got out of the canoe and went to the house. The couple there didn’t know what a capybara was and were astonished to find it on their lawn.”

Mr Jolley said: “We were very surprised to see this animal and since then we have learned a little bit about it. Everyone who passed was amazed and for a little while there was quite a fuss but the animal didn’t seem fazed.

“My wife phoned the police non-emergency line for information and they were quite interested. They said it had escaped from the McAlpine estate and has been seen in Maidenhead and Marlow, so it’s obviously making its way upstream.

“We left it at around 7pm as it seemed perfectly happy grazing and in the morning it was gone.” Gone maybe, but back soon, I reckon.

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