You see an opossum on a Carroll Gardens stoop. You blog about it. People go nuts.
I just thought it was an interesting sighting. I didn't want to spark a manhunt of the poor things (even if they could be rapid, and have about a hundred sharp teeth).
Shortly after posting the item on Sunday, I was contacted by the Cobble Hill/Carroll Gardens Courier, who asked for a quote. When I said they wouldn't be able to use my real name, they lost interest. But the article came out anyway today, and it sure makes it sounds like scary opossums are taking over the borough. Some choice bits:
Wild possums are destroying Brooklynites’ gardens, threatening small dogs and terrifying teenage girls.
“Last year, while walking around the [Dyker Beach] golf course at dusk, my daughter and I bumped into one. We were so scared. We’re city girls,” said Marnee Elias-Pavia, district manager of Community Board 11, which covers Bensonhurst, Mapleton, Bath Beach and Gravesend.
Yikes! Run for the hills!!!
Elias-Pavia’s 13-year-old daughter was terrified.
“My daughter screamed and I had to grab her from running into the street,” Elias-Pavia recalled.
Josephine Beckmann, district manager of Community Board 10, said there have been many reports of possums in Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Fort Hamilton.
“They look like rats,” she said. “They eat fruit off of fruit trees, they burrow, and they eat food from garbage cans.”
With possums on the loose, Reeves Eisen, a rep for City Councilmember Lew Fidler (D-Marine Park), said residents must take extra precautions with their pets.
“What concerns me is we’ve been told they go after small animals. So I only take my dog out on a leash, even in the yard, after dark,” Eisen said. “Since they’re nocturnal, people are advised to be very careful if they see them during the day.”
Really. "City girls," my foot. My eight-year-old son looked straight at the opossum and the opossum looked at him, and neither blinked. My son seemed bored. "Are we done looking at the 'possum?" he complained.
The article did contain a possible explanation as to how the opossums got here, though:
About 10 years ago, “There was a rat problem in Marine Park and Gerritsen Beach so they brought the possums in to target the rats,” Recchia explained. “These possums weren’t supposed to be able to duplicate, to have babies. It turns out that they had babies. Now, they’re pretty much everywhere and they’re a problem.”