Someone Captured Video of the Rare Kalihi Valley Wallaby
Yes, Hawaii has wallabies!
It’s a rare sighting, even for Oahu residents who’ve lived on the island all their lives. Believe it or not, the wallaby, a small marsupial that belongs to the same taxonomic family as the kangaroo, can be found in Hawaii, reported to only inhabit a small section of Kalihi Valley.
Kalihi resident Olin Lagon uploaded the video to his Instagram shortly after crossing paths with the elusive creature around 9 p.m.
Lagon said to HAWAII Magazine he’s previously seen a wallaby in the valley once before about three years ago when he was “heading town bound about 100 feet leaving the Likelike tunnel,” but this time he had the opportunity to capture it on video.
“Beautiful creature and when it finally ran away it booked it fast!” Lagon said. In what’s probably the best recent endorsement for driving an electric vehicle, Lagon was with his family when they casually saw the wallaby. “I am amazed it stuck around for my cell phone to capture it. Wouldn’t have happened if we didn’t drive an electric car!”
The story of how the wallabies established themselves in Hawaii is something out of a Pixar movie. Native to Australia and Papua New Guinea, the wallaby was introduced to Hawaii’s wildlife about 100 years ago after a pair living in the captivity of a private Hawaii zoo on Oahu escaped and hopped away into the brush of Kalihi Valley. Ever since then a small colony of the marsupials formed in Kalihi making rare appearances here and there.
There are believed to be about 40 all together, but only a handful of sightings have been reported in the past century which often calls into question their livelihood. That isn’t an invitation to go out seeking them in Kalihi for observation purposes—they occupy what’s private property and a passage through a military base.
After this week’s video though, it looks like they’re still going strong.