Editorial: I can't wait for when we don't have any possums

By Andrew Austin

Andrew Austin, Editor of Hawke's Bay Today.
Andrew Austin, Editor of Hawke's Bay Today.

The rabbits populating my neighbourhood seem to have begun breeding like, well, rabbits.

They are all around - on the roads, in the gardens, in the paddocks. They are a menace. As I am not a gun owner, I simply have to live with them.

The dogs give them (literally) a run for their money, so at least they don't come too close to the house.

But even worse than rabbits are the possums. I drive along a one kilometre-long shared rural driveway to get to my house and every night I see at least one possum waddling along the road. Workmates and others tell me that I should aim for them and run them over. I have tried, but always seem to pull out at the last moment.

Luckily we don't seem to get them near our house .... until last weekend, that is.

I was watching television late one night and heard a loud thump against the house, followed by one of our two dogs going crazy, barking.

I immediatly knew it was a possum.

I went outside but could not see anything. The barking stopped and I went to bed. I was woken once or twice by the dog barking but, after shushing her, I slept through until about 6am.

The dog started barking again and I went outside to find a possum perched on top of a stepladder I use to check the water level of our tank. It was stuck between the house and the water tank, with the dog below.

Not sure what to do, I did what I always do when it comes to all things rural - I texted some people who know about these things and they came to help.

Shots were fired (safely) and we had one dead possum, which was neatly disposed of.

The sooner we get rid of all these pests the better.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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