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    People use wallabies to mow their lawns

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    ODN

    by ODN

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    Mary Davies lives in the heart of the English countryside but she does not have to worry about cutting the grass - she leaves that to her wallabies. Mary has been breeding the marsupials at her home in West Sussex for more than a decade.


    "I've got one from a small holder, he's going to open his farm to the public and he wants them as an attraction. I have another private couple who live fairly locally who just want them to mow their lawn," said Mary.


    With the rarer white females costing around £1,000 each they are more expensive than your average lawnmower - and you can only buy them in pairs. You also need at least half an acre of land, lots of grass and a large fence.


    But they are making financial sense for more and more people. When Mary is not looking after her own marsupials, she is helping her brother Tom Loder run the family estate, now open to the public, where there is a further 50 wallabies.


    "My great-great grandfather Sir Edmund Loder really built the gardens at Leonardslee and he brought over vast collections of different kinds of animals, kangaroos, beavers, capybaras, ostriches and wallabies. Most of those have subsequently over the years disappeared or have gone one way or another. But the wallabies have stayed and primarily it's because they're more economically feasible than any of the other animals," said Loder


    The wallabies are all that survive today from the original menagerie, allowed to stay because of their unique grass-cutting abilities.