Possums in Abundance

by Maria, Oscar, Sue, E Smith, Richard, Maria, Vicki, Amy, EM, Ian, Rosalia
(Brampton, Toronto, Georgetown, Mount Albert, Cambridge, Newcastle, Ajax, Keswick, London, Sarnia, Mississauga, Kitchener)

Backyard Possum on a fence

Backyard Possum on a fence

Maria wrote to tell us about what she saw at Bramalea Road and Professors Lake Parkway, Brampton ... Apparently the possum has been around our house for a few months. About 2 months ago we came home about 11:00 pm when I saw movement by the garage door and taking off a very slow speed to the rear of the house I thought it was a rat! My husband informed that it was a possum and he had seen before. This morning when putting the dog out it was by the side door and the dog wasn't leaving it alone so I called the dog in a few times before it slowly climbed the fence and out of reach from the small dog. My concern is are they dangerous! Our vegetables were half eaten mostly the carrots over the summer could it have been this possum? I would not like to see a liter of these around!

Hello Maria, no, Possums are not dangerous, they eat lots of ticks and they seem to mind their own business and if they feel threatened and afraid, they just fall over and pretend to be dead ... they "play possum".

Oscar from Toronto said ... despite being a densely residential area (Riverside) its proximity just to the east of the Don Valley means that animal sightings - skunk, foxes, the occasional coyote - do occur but although neighbours had reported seeing possums it was only on a recent rainy night that I saw one for myself. I was giving the dog a late-night walk in a parkette bordering the railway tracks. The dog was sniffing its way along the wire mesh fence at the foot of the railway embankment when it stopped in its tracks, fixated by something on the other side. There was enough light from the street lamps that I was able to make out a white pointed snout and two distinctive black eyes; a possum! The two animals stared at each other, motionless and silent, until finally the possum decided to withdraw, turning slowly and sauntering up the embankment. It was a cute looking critter, about the size of a smallish cat. I just hope a coyote or fox doesn't get it!

I hope your little Possum was okay too, and didn't get caught by a Coyote!

During winter 2018 there was a large possum on our patio gleaning peanuts that had dropped from the bird feeder. We were surprised to see it as we have sighted them occasionally in the summer but not in winter. There has been some clearing of land nearby and we wondered if the possum had been disturbed by this. We have since learned that they do not hibernate.

Sue from Mount Albert said ... I have a possum that comes to my house every evening, (for the past week) and eats the bird food I put out for my birds. I make cakes and put them on my patio, and the possum comes around twilight and eats whatever is left!

E Smith from Cambridge reported ... Max our yellow lab was going crazy last night as he looked through the window by the front door. When I went to investigate what was causing him to make such a ruckus there was a opossum staring back at him. When I turned the porch light off he seemed to wander off the porch. It took the dog half a hour to settle down.

Richard from Sarnia wrote to say ... I had a visit this morning from a shy little possum. He found a spot where bird seed had spilled from the feeder and spent 15 or so minutes feeding. We have lived in Sarnia since 1976 and have never seen one before now. A great experience!

Maria from Newcastle wrote to tell us ... I was looking out the window and saw an opossum walking down the side of the road before it went across the neighbour's yard. First one I've seen in this area. Couldn't get to my camera in time for a picture.

Vicki from Ajax wrote to say ... I just saw a possum travelling along the top of my fence on Thursday, at 1:00 am. It was big and fat and at first I thought it was a raccoon but no mistaking the long pointed face and the rat like tail. I had been told that they were here a couple of years ago but had only seen two dead ones. I live about 10 minutes from Lake Ontario.

Amy from Brampton said ... the cat was going crazy when we saw an adult possum walking along our backyard fence line. Once out of sight we lost sight of it so it must have squeezed under the fence and ambled off. This was in broad daylight.

Last winter EM from Keswick, Ontario, wrote to say ... I thought the footprints were of a skunk, fox or feral cat ... nope! Full sized possum was seen tonight. Hopefully a mama. I will be on the look-out for the babies in the spring.

Please let us know if the Mamma Possum came back with babies in the spring!

We heard from Ian from south London, Ontario, who said ... we see a Possum making its rounds in our neighbourhood. It may actually be living under our front porch. We live adjacent to Westminster Ponds Conservation area. Spotted 7:00 am February 24th.

Rosalia spotted a Possum in Mississauga, she said ... this morning at our house in backyard we quickly spotted a Possum darting into the next house in a whole in the fence. It was a rare sighting but glad the kids and other family members were able to see it.

One of our readers from Kitchener said ... I looked out back this afternoon to see a very large opossum on our back patio. He rooted through an old flower pot, unresponsive to my shouts, stamping and clapping. A small audience of heckling squirrels joined the cacophony, chirping their disapproval of his presence. He finally decided to move on after I mimicked a large sniffing/snorting animal - arms spread like wings. First he cowered against the house, under a shrub. 10 minutes later, he was gone.

Thank you, folks, for writing to tell us about your Possum sightings, they are very interesting and show how widespread these animals have become.

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