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Okla. Family Searches For Missing Pet Kangaroo

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File photo of a kangaroo. (Photo by TORSTEN BLACKWOOD/AFP/Getty Images)

File photo of a kangaroo. (Photo by TORSTEN BLACKWOOD/AFP/Getty Images)

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SHAWNEE, Okla. (AP) — An Oklahoma family is searching for their missing pet: an 11-month-old kangaroo named Lucy Sparkles.

Shayla Menhusen said her family last saw Lucy on Thanksgiving, when she thinks the red kangaroo was freaked out by people gathered at their home near Shawnee for the holiday.

“We had lots of kids around and they just wanted to see her and watch her hop around,” Menhusen told The Associated Press on Saturday. “Of course, when she starts to hop, kids start laughing and screaming with excitement. And I think that might have spooked her.”

So, Menhusen and her family have been whistling and calling out Lucy’s name as they look for her in nearby fields and woods. But Menhusen said she’s worried Lucy cannot hear them because it’s been windy.

“And if she’s calling back, we can’t hear her either,” Menhusen said.

Plus, Lucy is gray, so it’s not easy to spot her in a rural area about 40 miles east of Oklahoma City.

“With all the fall colors out there, she just blends right in,” Menhusen said. “She’s definitely going to be hard to see if you can’t hear her and she’s not hopping.”

The family got Lucy in June after Menhusen’s husband, Larry, expressed an interest in exotic animals. He talked about getting a wallaby, but decided against it. So he and their eldest daughter, Layla, drove to Texas to pick up the family’s first pet: a 6-month-old kangaroo.

The name Lucy Sparkles was Layla’s idea.

“She was so excited that she was getting a kangaroo,” Menhusen said.

Lucy lives in a little house outside the family’s home.

“She comes to a whistle much like a dog would and she also comes to the call of her name,” Menhusen said. “And she comes to the mimic of the sound that a kangaroo makes, which none of us are very good at …”

The family is offering a $500 reward.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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