Aussie possums probalby also have sharp teeth but I've not heard of anyone
being bitten (although I'm sure it would have happened).
Friends had some significant domestic disbliss in their house with all
members of the house accused of eating the best pieces of fruit from the
fruit bowl before anyone else could have any with furious denials and
counter accusations all round.
After some time, it turned out that the fruit bowl, which used to sit on a
table just under an opened unscreened window 2 floors up (in the Aussie
tropics), was visited regularly by a possum who ate the best bits.
Another friend whose lady left him and who suffered severe loneliness as a
result, took to divering himself by taming a local possum mother and her
baby. He took to having dessert on his back deck where he would sit eating
his fruit and laying out a slice on the floor for the possum until she
became so tame that she'd take it from his hand.
They are very, very cute animals until one has one in the ceiling cavity or
attacking one's fruit. At that stage murder is a good option.
When I was a kid, my grandfather had established a similar relationship
with a mama raccoon and her babies at his cabin on a lake in Michigan.
We'd sit on the back patio in the summer evening and offer bits of food
to the family, and they'd take them from our hands, the babies learning
fro their mother. Raccoon hands/paws are very interesting to touch --
leathery and dry. Excellent childhood memory. ;-)
Nowadays in my urban neighborhood, any "wild" animal that would allow
one that close is suspect for rabies. A family of raccoons who were
living in an abandoned house fairly near me were exterminated because
one of them was rabid (which meant all could soon become rabid). I
think that was the same family whose babies climbed all over the back of
my house and would be deterred by nothing short of my doing my "mean
schoolmarm" impression out of a second floor window. While my "mad cat"
noises brought no interest from them, that impression of a strict lady
in corset and shoes which are too tight who was referring to them as
"young man!" scared the bejeezus out of them and sent them hightailing
out of my yard.
Saw one possum once, but he was in sad shape, having apparently been
attacked by another animal. Similarly we have no skunks now, although
we did when I bought my house in 1998.
Having Rabies aaround would certainly put a damper on having any up close
and personal dealings with wildlife.
US possums are very different to those of Australia. US ones always make me
think of sticky beaks with those pointy little noses. I don't mean that in
a critical way, just that they look like they should be the gossips of the
In the US the eastern opossums have a less pointy nose than the western
species. Check out the picture on wikipedia of a Virginia one.
The ones in California have a very pointed nose as you describe.
Exactly. Possums of various sorts are on multiple continents. Other
marsupials generally not.
Was the wombat eating stuff in your garden or did you get to it in time
and relocate it? Being herbivores I would think you don't want any in
your garden. I figure they are not as voracious as rabbits but they
just might taste somewhat like rabiit. No clue if they are rare enough
to be protected.
They are built like brick outhouses and would weigh as much as a big dog.
I've seen a house's foundations undermined by one or more of them because
they dig huge burrows.
The wombat in our garden was just standing near a small personal access gate
which leads out of our garden onto our drive which then leads down between
the paddocks to the main road. My husband has a big shed down a track off
the driveway where he keeps some old cars and he was going out that way to
put something back in his shed. He saw the wombat and came back inside to
get me so I could see it.
When he told me it was there, I doubted if it'd still be there when we got
there but it was. It was facing us, but had started to dig under the gate
to get out. My husband said that the digging hadn't started when he came to
get me so it'd done a fair hole in the short time it took us to get there.
It just stood there while I patted it on the head which amazed both of us.
It even looked like it was mildly enjoying it as it lowered it's head and
slightly closed it eyes and looked even more docile and dozy than they
After doing that for a time, we decided we should try to get him out the
gate. I opened it but as soon as I got behind it, it didn't like that and
moved off. I was going to try to grab it round it's middle from the back
and lift it up and move it that way. We tried a couple of times and then it
got under some bushes so we left the gate open and left it to itself. I'm
fairly sure it would have been eating the grass on what we call our 'lawn'
but there is nothing to stop it going anywhere in the garden except for the
orchard which is also the chook run.
I'm sure they are protected but even so, I have a friend in a wildlife group
who would be able to tell me how to 'relocate' or move it on if it becomes a
real bother. When it comes round to spring and some growth in my vegetable
patch would be the time I'd start to focus on any resident wombat if needs
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