Possums heading North

by Teresa, Susan, Pam Wilson, George B, Myrna Lee, Patrick P
(Lindsay, Collingwood, North Bay, Carrying Place, Brighton, Ottawa Valley, Bethany)

Over the last little while we have been getting reports from people a little farther north than usual - the Possums are spreading northward!

Teresa wrote to say ... We live in the heart of Lindsay, Ontario, about 10:15 pm March 5th 2016 we went to let our puppy out and when opening the door we saw a Possum. The Possum looked alarmed, stood for a few seconds then ran off. It was there for the trash. It was my first sighting, I wasn't even sure what it was until Google.

Susan from Collingwood wrote to say ... I just saw one driving home around 9 pm - I couldn't figure out what it was when I saw it - I was driving and it ran across the road. Its unusual looking - I hope he will be okay over the winter. Is there some kind of shelter I can build for it? It lives in my forest.

One of our readers from North Bay reported ... I have not heard of Possums being this far North in North Bay (300 kms north of Toronto), but my dog scared one out of the bushes around our front door on Saturday night around 10 pm. It ran over my foot and then up a tree beside my garage. I went in and grabbed a flashlight just in time to see him head across the road into a treed area with a creek flowing through the trees. Hope he decides to stay away.

In February Pam Wilson wrote ... Our dogs were barking at night towards the bird feeders. We weren't sure what they were barking at until we spotted a small animal under the tree eating sunflower seeds. We thought it may be a Raccoon but once it moved into the light on the snow we saw it was a Possum. We live in Carrying Place, Ontario. We researched it and found out Possums now live in Ontario. We followed him as he crossed the road and went under the trees in the neighbours yard.

George B from Brighton, Ontario said ... I caught a mid-size (approx 4 to 5 lbs) Possum on 25 March in a live trap set for swamp rats. I released in swamp near Lake Ontario in Brighton.

Myrna Lee from the Ottawa Valley wrote ... I'm interested in these tick-eating creatures. Do you know if they are living in other provinces? BC would seem to be a likely candidate.

Patrick P from Bethany, Ontario, wrote ... My wife called to to say a skunk was by our covered BBQ. I went out to investigate and could hear the critter moving around behind the BBQ. I tapped the top with a broom and out came ... an Opossum! I live outside Peterborough, Ontario, and though I had seen them around the Niagara region, I had no idea they had come this far. When I moved the BBQ it simply waddled away. No time to get a photo.

Thank you all for your reports - Susan, I'm not sure whether you can build a shelter for the Possum - they often spend the winter under porches or decks (we had one under our front steps) and I've heard people say that they got into their shed and spent the winter there.

Myrna - I have no idea whether there are Possums in BC, but yes, I have heard that they eat ticks.

I have heard that Possums pose no threat to domestic pets, they would much rather run away or play dead (playing possum!) than fight, however, there can be a virus in their urine which is a danger to horses.

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