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Opossums are people too
By Ron Baker*

Opossums are, in my opinion, the easiest animals to trap, they are fairly slow and if you approach them quickly, they play dead. This is an amazing reaction to fear. Instinctively they understand that most predators will only eat live animals. When opossums feel threatened, they will fall over, their eyes will gloss over and they produce an odor from their mouths that smells like a decaying carcass. This is a very effective self preservation tactic that works well in the wild, however, Trapper Ron is never fooled.

Sometimes the situation calls for a caring touch as in the case of one call I received. Not only for the animals but for the people that fear them. I was in between calls when I received a frantic call from a woman who said that there was an animal in her bath tub. She had no idea what it was other than it was white and looked like a large rat. I assumed it to be an opossum. She told me that price was not an option and that I needed to get there right now. I just happened to be in the area so I headed her way.

Upon arrival I noticed a woman and a man standing on the front lawn. It seemed clearly obvious to me that they were very concerned. I grabbed my catch pole and proceeded into the house. The homeowners would not come in, so with some directions to the bathroom, I entered the home. To my surprise the opossum was still in the tub and when it saw me it did what most opossums do, it played dead. The funny thing about the situation was not that the animal was in a bath tub, but that it had a full roll of gray duck tape on its neck. At some point this animal had managed to stick its head through the tape roll and couldn’t get it off. I have no idea how long this poor animal had been dealing with this heavy roll of tape, however it explained to me why it could not get out of the tub.

Using my catch pole, I managed to get the noose over its head and around the duck tape roll and gently secured the noose. As I headed out the front door of the home, with the animal in tow, I was amazed to see the homeowners literally running down the sidewalk away from me. With a chuckle, I proceeded to my truck and placed the animal into a transport cage. I removed the noose from the catch pole and carefully removed the tape. The homeowners were very pleased that the animal was out of the house, however, they insisted that I check the rest of the house before they would go back in.

As always, anytime you require a professional trapper, make sure they are licensed with the Michigan Department of Natural Resource and insured. Cost vary greatly so do your homework and call several trappers and compare pricing for the services offered.

*Ron Baker is the owner of Trapper Ron's Humane Animal Removal & Relocation Services located in Farmington Hills. He assists homeowners and business with all wildlife nuisance issues in Farmington and surrounding cities. He can be reached at (248) 426-0036. or www.trapperron.com.

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