Opossums A Problem In Lubbock? - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/2/07

Opossums A Problem In Lubbock?

Opossums, can't see very well but their sense of smell is excellent. They're also nocturnal so they love to eat at night and sleep during the day and it's at night when some Lubbockites are finding opossums in their backyard.

"We get calls all the time from people, "we have a opossum in our yard." Well where do you live? Well they live in one of the new areas out in the county and that's where the opossums live. We are taking over their habitat," said Gail Barnes with the South Plains Wildlife Rehab Center.

Animal Services Director Kevin Overstreet says opossums are coming into Lubbock in big numbers.

"We've had a lot of opossums in Lubbock this year. We've had a total of 354 opossums," Overstreet said.

"They're just moving closer and moving in town because of all the building that's being done. They have no place to go," added Barnes.

Seeing an opossum in your yard may be frightening. In fact, they have 52 teeth, more than any other animal in North America, but Barnes says opossums aren't dangerous.

"They do not harm your dogs and cats. We get more calls about... "Are they going to hurt my little dog or cat?" No, they're not," she said.

Opossums are immune to rabies and distemper so they can't pass it on but they could be attracted to what you're leaving behind in your yard.

"It's a human problem. A people problem, not an opossum problem," said Barnes.

If you don't want them in your yard there's a simple solution.

"Just pick up your dog and cat food and they'll go find someplace else. It's as simple as that," added Barnes.

Without any food to attract him, the little, lonely, 5 pound creature will simply move on down the street...slowly.

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