abc.net.au - It may seem odd, but the locals swear it is true. People in a Japanese mountain region have reported a number of kangaroo sightings, and journalists are now trying to stalk the marsupials.
The descriptions given by the apparent eyewitnesses seem close enough. For years they have spoken of a beige animal with large ears, one to 1.5 metres tall, that stands by the roadside and then hops away.
The sightings were all reported in the Mayama mountain district of Osaki city in Miyagi prefecture, a community of 441 households, located about 350 kilometres north of Tokyo.
The city has received about 30 reports of "kangaroo-like animals", including three cases since December, when the mountain area was often covered in snow, said local official Tetsuya Sasaki.
"People aged in their 40s to their 60s have said they have spotted what looked like kangaroos while travelling to and from work in the early mornings and evenings," said Mr Sasaki.
Rumours about kangaroo sightings started about seven years ago, and television crews and newspapers have set up hidden cameras in the district, but have so far failed to capture an image of a kangaroo.
As a joke, "some people have put up 'kangaroo crossing' signs on their roadside properties," Mr Sasaki said.
Kangaroos are on show at many Japanese zoos and can be imported by individuals.