We have had problem possums and raccoons around here for about as long as we have been feeding cats outside. We have relocated a lot of both over the years (possums and raccoons, not cats). They have stayed away for the last couple of years, but within about the last week a possum has been raiding the cat food trays Leah puts in the garage. So I pulled out the old live trap and set it Tuesday night. I meant to check it before we went to bed, but I forgot. This is who I found in the trap Wednesday morning.
This was our trespassing possum in the cage in the bed of my truck. He was an unhappy and messed up possum. In our experience, they always relieve themselves when trapped, so the garage floor under the trap was nasty. I think this possum was fairly old. It was large and its teeth seemed dark.
I have always tried to relocate our possums and raccoons down in Texas Valley away from civilization, such as it is here, and near water. A few miles from where Fouche Gap Road reaches the floor of the valley there is a small, perennial stream that seems like a reasonable place for a possum or raccoon to live. When I reached the stream Wednesday morning, the possum did not want to leave the trap. I had to upend the trap and shake him out. He stayed immobile for a few minutes.
He was probably confused; maybe he expected to end up inside some animal’s stomach rather than in the woods. He was gone by the time I turned the truck around and left.
I have read that animals often do not survive relocations like this. They are released into a strange environment, not knowing where to find food or shelter and probably competing with an existing population. I like to think they have a fighting chance, but, really, I have no way of knowing.
* Some people insist that the American possum is actually an opossum, and that “possum” is the correct name for an Australian marsupial not related to our opossum. I say that an animal’s name is what it’s called, and the American opossum is called a possum. It has a scientific name, Didelphimorphia, which is just fine, but none of our possums answer to that.