Wallabies are adorable. They're little mini-kangaroos that, like their bigger relatives, are usually found scampering and kicking their way through the Australian outback. They thrive in hot weather, hot sun, and their native range is throughout Australia and a few surrounding islands. They're also found on an island off the coast of Ireland, despite that country's climate being pretty much the polar opposite of Australia, with more rain than sun and mildly cool days year round. But still, wallabies not only live, but thrive on the island of Lambay, just a few miles off Ireland's eastern coast.
They were first taken to the island in the 1950s, when a well-to-do family called the Barings decided it would be a great idea to use the island to raise all sorts of animals. Some, like the more unfortunate tortoises, didn't survive. The wallabies did, against all odds, and some experts think their ability to grow heavy fur coats had something to do with helping them weather Ireland's rainy, foggy climate. The creatures are also naturally shy, preferring to hide in the forests of the undeveloped island, and the rocky coastline at least sort of mimics their natural habitat.
More wallabies were shipped to the island in the 1980s, when the Dublin Zoo had a most unexpected problem, namely "too many wallabies." The director couldn't find homes for the extras, and rather than euthanize the healthy animals, he knew they would have a chance on the island. Those seven wallabies have multiplied to somewhere around 40, and anyone taking a boat tour around the island's perimeter might just see an unlikely, adorable face peeking out at them.