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THE NATIONAL PEST: THE OPOSSUM
There is a New Zealand saying:
ONLY A DEAD POSSUM IS A GOOD POSSUM.
There are between 70 to 90 million possums (opossums) in New Zealand. They were introduced from our neighbour, Australia, for the production of fur. Unfortunately they got out of control and are spreading all over New Zealand, now stripping our native trees, eating birds' eggs, spreading tuberculosis, and making life hard for anyone that lives out in the sticks. The country people use different methods to hold them at bay: Shooting, poisoning, trapping etc.
|These are the possums shot the same night in one little tree. Sometimes one can find up to twenty animals in the same tree. They are a very pleasant looking animal, cute and they have a pouch like the kangaroos.|
|Here you can see the size of these creatures. (Hey, hey, we mean the
possum!!!) This is a smaller animal and as we say: Dead as a donut.
They are nocturnal and you rarely see them in daylight. Sometimes during hard times, you can spot them in a paddock, eating grass.
|That's the way, how you get a dog to obey. The prospect of a good meal not only works for humans. Here you witness an illegal act. One should not feed uncooked meat to dogs. They could get tuberculosis or bilharzia. But, what is the point of such a law, if so many dead possums are laying around.. Who is going to cook those? The government?|
|And here it comes. Catch! Good dogie, good dogie! No good to talk to him now. He is busy catching the 'pray'.|
|This is the best diet for them. Look at the shiny coat. Dogs love possums. Human can eat them as well. They are a bit tough, and the males have a distinctive smell, if you know what I mean.|
|At least the pest can be used for something meaningful. It is a shame that the pelts are not used for the industry. It would help New Zealand a lot, but the ordinary citizen of this planet cannot distinguish between a fur of a pest and the fur of a protected species.|