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Mystery as severed possum tails litter roads

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Piney

Sounds like some demented sickos idea of a joke. :hmm:

They should investigate private animal control companies. That would be the only source of such large numbers. 

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Jon the frog
Posted (edited)

Can it be some  birds of prey hunting them on highway, they have clear view and the possum are sitting ducks there ?

I have flying squirrel on my land and when the Great horned owl pass during migration, I have severed tails all over the place...

Edited by Jon the frog
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An0n1m0us

I cannot wait to read the comments on this article. I'm sure some will say it is a prank, and others will say it's a demented person. How easy is it to catch an opossum which is a nocturnal mammal?  

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Barryh1986

Maybe the next stage of possum evolution. Gotta catch em all!!!

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Seti42
6 hours ago, Jon the frog said:

Can it be some  birds of prey hunting them on highway, they have clear view and the possum are sitting ducks there ?

I have flying squirrel on my land and when the Great horned owl pass during migration, I have severed tails all over the place...

I was thinking that too. Tails are often left behind when prey are killed. Even the cat I had growing up left many mouse tails on the floor for us to find every winter. (Winter being when the mice would come into our house, of course.)

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Ausvaldo

Chinese love possum. No eat tail though
Cut tail off, discard and cook with a blowtorch in approximately 5 minutes.
They are being harvested in bulk and processed on the move.
WAKE UP WORLD

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Hammerclaw
Posted (edited)

That is so weird, Is there a bounty on them, since they're invasive and pests? Taking their tails would be the easiest way to show how many you harvested. The one's we have around here are about the size of a cat. Good eatin' fried with sweet potatoes. 

Opossum_2.jpg

Edited by Hammerclaw

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Spyda
Posted (edited)

The explanation is a bit boring but as a rural kiwi i can shed some light..
Possum fur in NZ is big $
There are many trapers and hunters across the nation that collect the fur from possums to sell.
You can get anywhere from $3 to $15 per possum based on the market, season and area the possum is from (fur thickness changes). A half decent trapper/hunter could easily make a a couple of hundred dollars a day at times.
Different fur can fetch different prices too. Tails are usually a thick black fur, harder to pluck and more coarse quality wise than the soft grey body fur. So often tails are sold seperate and at a lower rate.
My guess is some trapper / hunter wanted to get rid of a bunch of tails or just thought it would be a good laugh.images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSmKoL4MSxnYCVKjHRpTFd

Edited by Spyda
Added pic of an nz possum
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Hammerclaw
23 minutes ago, Spyda said:

The explanation is a bit boring but as a rural kiwi i can shed some light..
Possum fur in NZ is big $
There are many trapers and hunters across the nation that collect the fur from possums to sell.
You can get anywhere from $3 to $15 per possum based on the market, season and area the possum is from (fur thickness changes). A half decent trapper/hunter could easily make a a couple of hundred dollars a day at times.
Different fur can fetch different prices too. Tails are usually a thick black fur, harder to pluck and more coarse quality wise than the soft grey body fur. So often tails are sold seperate and at a lower rate.
My guess is some trapper / hunter wanted to get rid of a bunch of tails or just thought it would be a good laugh.images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSmKoL4MSxnYCVKjHRpTFd

Welcome to UM. What's the story on how and why they were introduced into New Zealand and are they present on both the North and South Islands?

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jules99

"But in New Zealand, where brushtail possums were imported long ago for the fur trade, remote cameras have revealed they like meat, showing them killing and eating robins, honeyeaters, keas and other parrots, and even adult kiwis."

"They are thought to be one reason the South Island kokako appears to be extinct." 

https://www.australiangeographic.com.au/topics/wildlife/2017/04/killer-possums/ 

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Spyda
21 hours ago, Hammerclaw said:

Welcome to UM. What's the story on how and why they were introduced into New Zealand and are they present on both the North and South Islands?

Thanks for the warm welcome. As far as I am aware, they are found throughout New Zealand except on a few small islands. I have heard that the ones down the South Island are much bigger and have much thicker fur than those in the North Island. As jules99 mentioned, they were introduced for the fur trade in the 1930's and spread rapidly to become our biggest pest. They also introduced rabbits in the 1980's and they too spread rapidly and became a pest.

While both animals are quite cute, they are very damaging to the ecosystem. Bounties were offered by governments for both possums and rabbits in the past and they are both still heavily trapped/hunted in rural areas. 
 

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Hammerclaw

Fascinating creatures. The only native marsupial north of Mexico here is the Virginia Opossum. It came up from South America during the Great Exchange, after the Ithmus of panama formed and connected the continent's. It has a hairless, prehensile tail.

 

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