Opossum Encounter

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by beatsme, Sep 19, 2006.

  1. beatsme macrumors 65816

    beatsme

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    #1
    I just opened the back door to have about half a smoke, and there was a opossum sitting there on the landing (2nd floor apt. bldg). Weird. He just kinda looked at me. Didn't make a run for it or anything. Stayed right there until I finished my cig, and was still there when I shut the door. Wonder what he was doing up here? There was no food or anything for him to get...

    Opossums a pretty harmless as far as critters go, yea? Not known to carry rabies, right?
     
  2. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #2
    I wouldn't assume they are safe. They are wild animals.

    We have them in our neighborhood, where they generally come into yards where cat food has been put out. They look exceedingly clumsy as they lumber about, and can't jump as well as cats can, but they can still get onto patio tables and can balance on fences and telephone wires.

    I took this photo when I spotted one in the neighborhood.
     

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  3. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #3
    I see them once every few years in my area, but I know they are around more than that (I can see their footprints on the sidewalk surrounding my pool).

    As Doctor Q mentioned, you can't assume any wild animal is safe, but as far as opossums are concerned, rabies is quite rare.
     
  4. xsedrinam macrumors 601

    xsedrinam

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    #4
    And you were wondering what he wanted? :)
     

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  5. rontheancient macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #5
    I have one in my backyard. It usually comes out of its home behind my shed at night and scrounges for food. He's a regular, along with pigeons the size of large purses. The family affectionately calls him Jack.
     
  6. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #6
    Here's another 'possum photo I took.

    Opossums are nocturnal and this guy (gal?) came by one night, walking on the top of our fence. Our dog spotted him and rushed outside to try and catch him. The 'possum froze (playing dead) while the dog barked and jumped up and down. The dog's claws couldn't quite reach the top of the fence, so the 'possum could have walked away, but it stayed frozen, with it's eyes wide open. We put the dog back in the house but the opossum was still there when I went back outside to take this photo. Later he left, when he was sure the coast was clear.

    These notes about opossums might be useful to read.
     

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  7. mcarnes macrumors 68000

    mcarnes

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2004
    Location:
    USA! USA!
    #7
    They can be pretty nasty if they want to be. I watched my uncle kill one with a shovel when I was a kid. It bit his boot and latched on, hissing and all.

    About it just sitting there, it might have been sick (like near death). I've seen birds do that.
     
  8. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #8
    A few years back I heard the Weber Grill fall over, but didn't bother to take care of it that night.

    Over the weekend, i went out on the deck, righted the base of the grill and then went to pick up the cover.

    As I lifted it up,
    a HUGE opossum just looked up at me and hissed, then waddled away.

    Freaked me out for sure.

    And they do have big teeth.
     
  9. ColdFlame87 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Location:
    Woodland Hills, CA
    #9
    Whenever i go out for a smoke at night I usually see them walk by occasionaly they stop and stare at me before moving on, they are common at nightime where I live and usually move at night at first they freaked me out but eventually i got used to them they keep me company at night :D
     
  10. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #10
    Perhaps one or more of you can suggest something for a friend of mine.

    He has "outdoor cats". They live and eat outdoors, but opossums in the neighborhood steal food from their dishes, even if the dishes are put on a table that the cats jump up to. The cats aren't always there when my friend is, so he needs to put food out for them. He asked for ideas on how to leave food for the cats in a way that prevents the 'possums from getting into it.

    If cats can really jump higher than 'possums (I'm not sure how big or small these ones are), he could just keep trying higher tables. That was my first suggestion. My other suggestions included putting the food in a box that only skinny animals could get into, and even a wacky idea for a contraption that would let only a lightweight animal reach a box where you would put the food, because a heavier animal would cause a suspended platform to sag.

    But perhaps there are some easier solutions (other than simply inviting the cats indoors).
     
  11. Palad1 macrumors 6502a

    Palad1

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2004
    Location:
    London, UK
    #11
    Opposum?

    Are you sure it was not a Man-Eating Anteater?
     
  12. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Location:
    Behind the lens
    #12
    DONT touch possums.

    They can carry rabies, and be quite vicious with their sharp teeth when threatened.

    And just cuz YOU think you arent threatening, doesnt mean the creature 1/15th your size doesnt.

    :p
     
  13. 2nyRiggz macrumors 603

    2nyRiggz

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2005
    Location:
    Thank you Jah...I'm so Blessed
    #13
    Those things are crazy...I went to throw out the trash one night and the damn thing run me back into my apartment.



    Bless
     
  14. Lau Guest

    #14
    I'd do that if someone hit me with a shovel. :p
     
  15. e²Studios macrumors 68020

    e²Studios

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    #15
    You sure that wasnt one of NYC's rats? :D

    Ed
     
  16. 2nyRiggz macrumors 603

    2nyRiggz

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2005
    Location:
    Thank you Jah...I'm so Blessed
    #16
    ^LOL...that was no rat. NYC rats will look at you, try to bluff you then run...this thing was on my heels snarling.


    Bless
     

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