UPDATE: Reward offered to find missing Wallaby

UPDATE: Reward offered to find missing Wallaby
A $450 reward is now being offered to anyone who can help Jeff, the wallaby. (Photo Source: Instagram/JeffTheJoey)

LAMAR COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - The search for a missing pet wallaby continues in the Pine Belt. A $450 reward is now being offered to anyone who can help Jeff, the wallaby.

We're told Jeff escaped from his owner's fenced yard in Lamar County on Tuesday. Jeff's owner, Logan Whitefield, is on vacation in Florida. He was last spotted Sunday morning in the Lake Serene area.

A post about Jeff missing has been shared hundreds of times, with comments hoping Jeff is found safely.

We wondered how Jeff, a domesticated animal, would handle the Pine Belt on his own. So, we went to the Animal Care Manager Stephen Taylor at the Hattiesburg Zoo, where a new 'Wallaby Walkabout' exhibit opened last month.

"I think it's going to come down to the environment he was raised in. If he was raised near streets, he may be acclimated to that," said Taylor. "I would think he's probably in a more wooded area, he's probably hiding off somewhere, unsure of his new surroundings.  So he's trying to figure it out. Might be trying to lay low."

While Whitefield said Jeff likes to snack on bananas and bread, he should be okay with finding food on his own. Taylor said a wallaby's diet includes a lot of grass and leaves. Taylor also mentioned the weather should not impact Jeff, too much.

"Wallabies are very, very hearty creatures. They have really strong threshold when it comes to temperatures and there's plenty of stuff for him to eat, so I'm sure he's doing well," said Taylor. "They can handle very, very hot weather and very cold weather, so I'm sure he's doing okay."

Taylor said wallabies are skittish, so if someone sees Jeff, the best thing to do is to keep an eye on him and call for help.

If you do find Jeff, please call the Hub City Humane Society or Whitehead at 601-543-3583. Whitehead said his roommates, who are familiar with the animal, will come pick him up.