2008-12-11

Possum Traps and other things - images may disturb (I'm serious)






The last few days my Mum has been having trouble with possums destroying her garden. I went up last night and set two Timms Traps Mum had kindly baited with apple.

I have a lot of respect for our uninvited guests. Brushtailed Possums are interesting creatures. They live in groups with a dominant female at the top of the hierarchy and several males usually around eight or nine making up the rest of the group. Being territorial, fights between females and males are common. We have two subspecies of the Australian Brushtailed Possum introduced into New Zealand. The Tasmanian Red which has a reddish brown fur and the more numerous grey furred common Australian Brushtailed Possum. Both sharing the same habitats have interbred with the offspring bearing traces of both sub species. Grey and red fur are quite common. Possums are marsupials being pouch bearing animals their young are known as joeys and are born without any fur. The joeys stay in the pouch for 4 months before venturing out and joining their parents in eating tree vegetation and sometimes nesting birds and their chicks. Possums are noturnal and sleep during the day. Their eyes and ears are wonderfully adapted for excellent vision and hearing. Their front and hind legs have perfectly adapted claws with the hind paw having a clawless prehensile toe. In Australia the possums are protected as being native wildlife and their environment keeps the population under control. That is no the case in New Zealand. With no natural predators the possums have systematically laid waste to our native forests and native wildlife. The population census count stands at around 71 million individuals and perhaps higher. The photos I took this morning may be a little disturbing.

Weaver of Grass asked what a possum looked like so I took photos of the ones we trapped. One had a joey a sad fact of life I had to humanely put it down rather than let it suffer. It was a little female furless and perhaps around six weeks of age. For those of us on farms of any kind such things are necessary. Apologies if the photos have disturbed anyone.

4 comments:

  1. my dog loves possums, I'm glad she does, I don't...

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  2. No I don't either. Destructive pests. Not really their fault stupid greedy settler people caused it. I shouldn't say that but..it's true. I hate having to put down little animals - heartbreaking.

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  3. Oh gosh, I can't imagine having to trap and/or kill or put down any animal-even if they are a nuisance-I just don't think I could do it-more power to you that you're able to and my prayers are with you having to do such an awful thing-but of course it is the humane thing to do.

    Peace be with you,

    Leslie

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  4. Hi Leslie,

    I know it's very very hard but on a farm and with so many destroying the plants and animals hard decisions have to come first. That's the reality of rural life. Not nice and it's awful to do. Poor little thing would have suffered terribly. I felt terrible over the baby but not the adults.
    They are a very serious pest.


    Thanks for your prayers Leslie
    Love Liz

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