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September  23

Critter Corner

Life's never dull in Baristaville between navigating geese poop, discovering strange animals in the backyard and now playing possum. Or opossum, if you prefer. Either way,  Bloomfield seems to have the new suburban pet du jour. Folks on the NJ.com's Bloomfield forum offer this poster helpful advice -- and recipes.

Is anyone else experiencing this? This is about the third time we saw a possium (sic) in the yard at night.

When we first bought the house, we found it in back of the shed. So we got it out of there and cleaned it all out of leaves etc. Everything was fine for a while. Two weeks ago my dog, Storm and a smaller possium got into a little scuffle.

Now last night a BIG one was in the yard playing dead as Storm pawed at it until my husband realized what it was and got Storm in the house and got the possium out of the yard, but I'm sure it will be back :(

Who do I call Animal Control?

September 23, 2005 in Wildlife | Permalink


Bloomfield doesn't have an Animal Control Officer. I know because I called the police after seeing an escapee Shih-Tsu darting in and out of traffic on busy Belleville Ave. The officer told me that they don't have animal control and they wouldn't send anyone out just for one dog. Sheesh. Luckily the escapee's human mom came out and found him.

Posted by: Krys | Sep 23, 2005 10:55:13 AM

Possums are freaky to encounter -- from behind, they look like giant, albino rats.

Posted by: Appletony | Sep 23, 2005 11:57:23 AM

opossum- they are marsupials and it is a sight to see when they have their babies attached to their backs--nasty though when approached--

Posted by: cstarling | Sep 23, 2005 12:12:36 PM

Whether rural, residential or in the wilderness, opossums are a benefit to any area they inhabit. Their diet includes all types of bugs and insects including cockroaches, crickets and beetles. They love snails. They also eat mice and rats. The nocturnal opossum is attracted to our neighborhoods by the availability of water, pet food left out at night and overripe, rotting fruit that has fallen from trees. The opossum in turn helps keep our neighborhoods clean and free of unwanted, harmful garden pests and rodents, which may carry diseases. The opossum has earned the title of "Nature's Little Sanitation Engineer."

Posted by: cstarling | Sep 23, 2005 12:46:46 PM

CStaling, but he's so horrid looking! We have one in our backyard. He eats the catfood we leave out for the neighborhood strays, He looks like a giant rat. Yuck-o.

Posted by: daniella | Sep 23, 2005 12:57:22 PM

Don't judge a marsupial by it's cover.

Posted by: Krys | Sep 23, 2005 1:46:56 PM

They were there first, so let them be and they'll take care of the vermin in return.

Posted by: PAZ | Sep 23, 2005 3:05:02 PM

Thank you for that enlightening defense of my marsupial cousin, cstarling. Do you see any redeeming quality in skunks?

Posted by: walleroo | Sep 23, 2005 9:02:43 PM

Yes, the possum is creepy and yes they are a friendly native species. Since they sleep during the day and come out at night, they shouldn't be much of a nuissance. I did have to trap one in Bloomfield a few years ago because he had taken up residence in my garage and was using an old car seat as a litter box. Extremely unpleasant. But if cat food is attacting them and bringing them up to the house, perhaps you should let someone else feed the strays. Since they don't like bright light, perhaps a flood on a motion detector will help.

Posted by: Cheaplazymom | Sep 23, 2005 9:35:22 PM

Skunks are handsome animals.

"Do you smell any redeeming qualities in skunks?" would of course get a different answer.

Posted by: crank | Sep 24, 2005 1:28:29 PM

NOT AN URBAN LEGEND-the scarey part is that the musk, once the odour is removed, is used as a perfume base because of its clinging quality. The Striped Skunk is the main carrier of rabies in the U.S.A-rarely in the opposum

Posted by: cstarling | Sep 24, 2005 3:35:21 PM

i always personally favored the chipmonk-for their dramatic qualities-you approach and they'll stand there chiding you with their voice and waving a tiny paw and then zoom they are gone-sort of like the species known as Montclairites-:)

Posted by: cstarling | Sep 24, 2005 3:53:58 PM

First off, Bloomfield has THREE Animal Control Officers. The town's animal control not only serves Bloomfield, but also Glen Ridge, Nutley, and Caldwell. To contactAnimal Control, you have to contact the Health Dept. during office hours. The police seem to be reluctant to call Animal Control after hours, a problem that is being addressed currently. Animal Control apparently will not be called after hours unless the animal is dangerous, in danger, or contained. Wild animals, if safe, are left to be taken care of until the Animal Control officer on duty has the time, and ability, to take care of the situation. Unless the wild animals are destroying anything, you should be happy they find your yard a great place to hang out. After all, they are the natives!

Posted by: Bloomfield Miss | Sep 24, 2005 4:46:05 PM

I live in Caldwell and I can attest that it was a Bloomfield Animal Control officer who removed a squirrel from my neighbor's attic.

Posted by: Dana | Sep 24, 2005 5:52:48 PM

I'll still take a opposum any day. I once lived in Montclair and had bats in our apt. which I had to remove them myself on several occasions. We knew when they came to visit, our cats would run around the rooms chasing them. After the second time they visited we named them Betty & Barney. Those were the days!

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