Woman held hostage by possum in her home

According to the police, the animal, thought to be either an escaped pet or a juvenile, kept charging at the woman anytime she would leave her house.

Woman held hostage by possum in her home
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A woman in New Zealand called the police Sunday night with an emergency: a possum was holding her ‘hostage’ in her own home. The bewildered woman told the police every time she would leave the house to make her way to the car, the possum would charge after her, running up her leg.

Can’t Leave the House

Officers received a distress call late Sunday night from the woman, who said ‘a possum was holding her hostage’ at her home in the South Island city of Dunedin. Snr Sgt Craig Dinnissen said:

When she would exit her house and attempt to reach her car, the possum would charge at her and she would flee inside. When the cops arrived and approached the front door, the animal emerged from the dark and climbed up an officer’s leg.

According to Dinnissen, the juvenile possum could either be an escaped pet or had recently been separated from its mother.

The Guardian reported that the police apprehended the suspect and released it into the wild to prevent more harassment of citizens. Neither the possum nor the officer were harmed in any way.

Troublesome Possums

Veterinarian and animal behaviour expert Dr Rachael Stratton suggested the possum was acting out of fear rather than aggression.

The typical thing for most wild animals would be to run away. Unless, as it’s a juvenile, it is perhaps still learning how to deal with threats.

She explained that the possum may have had fewer options for places to run and hide, because it was in an urban environment.

Although residents of Dunedin can rest assured that the possum may not be bothering them again anytime soon, these animals may continue having a devastating impact on bird life. They compete with birds for food and habitat resources, and would climb into nests to eat eggs and fledglings.

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