A wallaby that escaped from its owner's home in Tennessee was found hopping around nearby after spending a night and most of a day on the loose.

Daniel Sochalski said the 4-year-old Australian marsupial, named Wally, was noticed missing from his family's farm in the Watauga Flats area of Piney Flats on Wednesday night.

Sochalski's family searched the area Thursday and put out a plea for help from the public. Local residents were asked not to approach Wally, as the exotic pet could become frightened and flee the area.

Sochalski said his family was returning home from searching around dusk Thursday evening when his daughter spotted Wally hopping near the back of the family's property. He said Wally likely returned home searching for water.

Officials with the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency said wallabies are legal to keep as pets in the state. No permits are required for the animals.