Kangaroo? Chupacabra? Nope. Glendale cop saves exotic pet

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Officer Joseph Procopio with Olivia the Patagonian mara (Source: Glendale Police Dept. via Facebook) Officer Joseph Procopio with Olivia the Patagonian mara (Source: Glendale Police Dept. via Facebook)
Patagonian maras are rodents. (Source: Wikipedia) Patagonian maras are rodents. (Source: Wikipedia)
Young mara and older one sniffing each other. From the zoological garden of the Jardin des Plantes in Paris. (Source: Wikipedia) Young mara and older one sniffing each other. From the zoological garden of the Jardin des Plantes in Paris. (Source: Wikipedia)
Mara pair with young (Source: Wikipedia) Mara pair with young (Source: Wikipedia)
GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Police officers are called to all kinds of different scenes, sometimes for unusual reasons.

For Officer Joseph Procopio of the Glendale Police Department, it was “a kangaroo in the street.”

Wait. What? Did we wake up in Australia?

Nope. But you did read that right. Procopio was recently called out to chase down a kangaroo.

OK, so it wasn’t really a kangaroo, but that was how it was initially reported.

When Procopio arrived on the scene he found a family trying to catch the animal, which turned out to be a Patagonian mara, before she ran into the street and got hurt.

According to a Facebook post by Spike the Canine (a Glendale Police Department K-9) and shared by the Glendale Police Department, Procopio used a dog leash to lasso the wayward animal.

“She was super sweet and let all the children pet her,” reads the Facebook post.

Procopio had a ranger with Glendale Parks and Recreation to pick up the Patagonian mara, which they later learned is named Olivia, and look after her until her family could be found.

The own contacted Parks and Rec and all’s well that ends well.

A kangaroo?

While kangaroos are marsupials, Olivia is a rodent and looks more like a jackrabbit or a small deer – or perhaps cuter version of the fabled chupacabra – than an actual kangaroo. She's actually a distant relative of the guinea pig.

The Patagonian mara, also called the Patagonian cavy, Patagonian hare or dillaby, is native to Argentina.

Patagonian maras like Olivia can grow to be between 18 and 35 pounds and can live an average of 14 years in captivity.

Affected by hunting – their skins have been used for bedspreads and rugs – and changes in habitat, the Patagonian mara is considered a near-threatened species.

Arizona law allows people keep exotic pets as long as they are not listed as restricted wildlife, which Olivia and her brethren are not.

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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