Caught another possum....


This one was more interesting with better looking features, either it was older, the other gender or it was sporting a winter coat. First off, it tried to "play possum" on me....Well, it worked so well that I have my doubts as to whether this is a conscious act on their part. Based on the amount of shouting, hand clapping, cage shaking and the lack of response from the critter, I'm convinced it's not conscious while playing possum even if it's a self induced state.
It could also be an involuntary mechanism triggered by fear. Whatever, the animal would have to undergo an extreme altered state of consciousness if it was pretending IMO. Furthermore, people have cited cases where they are run over by tractors and farm machinery while playing possum so it seems that there isn't a conscious "one eye left open" if this is some pretentious act of self preservation. In other words, when a possum "plays possum" it lacks the shrewdness of a great pretender.
This one had shorter jaws and fluffy fur and reminded me of a bear. Looked like something one would want to keep as a pet if these weren't wild animals. It trembled when we approached the cage (except when it was playing possum). I was also able to get a good look at its prehensile tail. Here are some pictures;
http://www.pbase.com/eldata/image/69297010/large
(Warning: The one below is large and requires panning but gives closeup equivalent) http://www.pbase.com/eldata/image/69297010/original
(Closeup of tail only without the need to pan) http://www.pbase.com/eldata/image/69297015/large
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They love slugs so they are nice wildlife to keep around the garden.

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Skunks love slugs too. Unfortunately they made my lawn look like it had been carpet bombed. :)

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THO wrote:

I've caught a couple and released to park. I was out to get groundhogs and raccoons which I also took to park along with several squirrels. Is possum harmless enough to release back to yard? It's a pain to have to give all these animals a ride to the park ;)
Frank
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What's the best way to handle skunks? We're really after groundhogs and our greatest fear is trapping a skunk even if it's just to let it go on the spot, much less to carry anywhere in a vehicle. I know they're around based on their smell at nights every now and again.
Frank wrote:

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A good shotgun (loaded with blanks if you don't want to hurt them). Skunks are like cats, they are curious and predatory. I've heard they even make good pets - once you remove the scent gland. Personally, having been sprayed while out hiking and having to deal with them on the farm, I'm more inclined to scare them off. But that's just my own opinion.

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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

going to drop off on way to work. Went to work and called Fish and Game Dept. and they said it was not a game animal and to call an exterminator. Exterminator wanted $200 (this was several years ago and would probably be double today). Wife put on rain gear and went out and opened trap and ran. Skunk stayed in trap for a while and ambled off and did not spray. Heard since that they will not spray if confined and best thing to do is throw a tarp over them and haul them off. Damned if I'd put in the trunk of my car though ;) Frank
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I caught a skunk two months ago in a trap. It was tearing up my lawn looking for grubs. Cute little guy. I called the city. The referred me to the county (Riverside) who has an animal control unit.
Once a skunk is caught in the area it CANNOT be released .. rabies. This is the law. They sent out a truck with two guys and a supply of Pentobarbital. They put a tarp over the cage and took the critter to a vacant lot. There they euthanized him with a syringe loaded with the Pentobarbital. The syringe was on the end of a long rod. The tarp remained on the cage and they worked around it VERY carefully.
At no time did the skunk spray. I felt bad that he had to be euthanized but had no choice in the matter. There was no charge by the county so I donated $50 to the guys. No, they did not pocket it .. gave me a receipt and all.
Norm
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Thanks, that's good to know.
Frank wrote:

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Frank wrote:

I've heard that they need to set their feet, hunch their back, and raise their tail in order to spray. If they can't do that, they can't spray. Being confined in a small space would prevent that. Along the same thought, I've heard that if you lift him off the ground by the tail they can't set their feet, so can't spray. Anyone willing to prove or disprove that theory??
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No it isn't true. I've been sprayed by a surprised skunk before and he wasn't doing a handstand at the time. Consider the purpose of the spraying, its a defensive mechanism and something like turning, standing on your hands and posing your tail isn't something you could do under duress and being attacked by a wolf, puma, innocent hiker....
They may have to adopt a certain position, maybe like a cat does when a cat sprays, but I'm sure it would release it's payload when confined if it felt it had to.
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Mostly harmless. They'll eat any pet food available.
They are also the gypsy of the animal world. They'll leave on their own after a few days.
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Never left mine, dug big holes, and made a general mess. Relocated a couple of them to a state park. :-)
Cheri
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Slugs? Never heard that. But have heard and read that grubs are primo.
And if it is in fact grubs that they are after, they are doing you a favor. The grubs will do far more damage than the skunk pot holes.
Remove the food source and skunks will stop digging. They dig because thy smell the grugs below the soil.
And yes they do make good pets. Knew a woman who had two. Very people oriented. Very mischievous and playful. Even use a litter box like cats do.
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You're right! It's the grubs underground that the skunks are after.
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I enjoy skunks groundhogs rabbits possums etc in my yard. got dogs all the animal life left the area......
deer damaged a tree, sad but its replaceable. rabbits occasionally sit on outside of fence eating seeemingly enjoying bugging my dogs.
woof woof woof.........
had a pet rabbit that would do that to my neighbors dog......... just to bug him.....
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