Or it is possum?
RSPCA Victoria –
Opossum vs. In this post, I will walk you through these spellings opossum or possum and outline when it is correct to use them. And since opossums and possums are both members of the marsupial family, your reader will generally understand what you mean. But it is important in scientific and technical contexts to know the difference because, after all, these are different animal groups. The opossum scientific name: Didelphidae was given its name by the English colonist John Smith of the Jamestown colony.
For this reason, the opossum is still commonly referred to as the Virginia North American Opossum. As I said above, the Virginia opossum generally has a white face with a grayish-white body, with black ears and feet.
Archie and the Possum
Their fur is coarse. The opossum has sharp teeth like a cat, but the primary distinguishing feature of an opossum is its bare, rat-like tail. All things considered, the opossum is generally considered an ugly, scary looking creature that people are not enthused to see in their backyard or trashcan. The possum pronounced pos -em is an Australian marsupial with four primary color variations: silver-gray, brown, black, and gold.
The possum scientific name: Phalangeridae was given its name because of its resemblance to the opossum of the Americas. The Australian possum, also called the common brushtail possum , looks a lot more like a large Chinchilla than an opossum to me. First, its coloration is much different. If you wish to keep an animal you may give your name to the local council ranger as an Interested Party, which means that in the event of no-one claiming it, you remain eligible to do so via the adoption process.
If you decide to keep the animal you must do everything within your power to find its original owner. If the animal is injured, be especially careful if driving.
If you do not have this, please contact the veterinary clinic that implanted the microchip, as there could be five or more databases that the chip may be on. The veterinary clinic will then give you the microchip number, and the contact details for the microchip database. Most microchips can be updated online for a small fee, or you may call and provide the new details.
If this is not possible, the next step is to obtain a statutory declaration form either online or from a police station. Complete the statutory declaration, stating you are now the new owner, and provide your details for the microchip company to update. Even if your pet has a microchip, name-tag and council tags, it is still a good idea to call your local council, shelters and veterinary clinics and report it missing. A lot of people decide to keep animals they have found as they are under the false impression that if the local council picks them up, they will then be euthanised.
Unfortunately, this can result in instances where animals are being found with new owners after initially going missing. If you think your animal has been stolen, it is also necessary to complete a police report. Visit our Lost and Found page for more information. Please ring your local council. Contacting local veterinary clinics is also a good idea, as they receive stray animals on a regular basis. Most cats return after 24 hours. We also advise knocking on doors in your neighbourhood as cats, being the inquisitive creatures they are, often get themselves locked in sheds, cars and other unlikely places.
Unfortunately, barking dogs fall under the noise complaints category within local council laws and are not something our inspectors are empowered to deal with under relevant government legislature. You may contact the local council and put in a noise complaint. If you know of other neighbours bothered by the barking, encourage them to do likewise. The more calls the council receive, the more likely they are to take the issue seriously. The council will often ask complainants to keep a log of the time and duration that the dog is barking.
The council ranger will then speak with the owner and offer some suggestions for stopping the noise. If the animal has been abandoned or if there are other serious issues, this information can then be passed onto our inspectorate for investigation. This fee has to be paid and is non-negotiable. If the stray animals are contained in a box or similar, please call your local council as they will collect these animals. If the animal can be caught without injury to it or yourself, you can take it to your local veterinary clinic or shelter. We do recommended, however, that you place something over the animal such as a box or laundry basket to ensure that the animal will still be there when the carer arrives.
Stray animals are a local council issue, as unfortunately the RSPCA does not have the resources to collect them. Please contact your local council as most have stray cat trapping programs in place. If you find that your local council does not, look for pest control companies in the Yellow Pages as many of them make cat traps available for hire.
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Cats that are contained can be taken to a local veterinary clinic free of charge. Friendly, healthy animals will go through the adoptions process at the local shelter or returned to their owner if a microchip or other identification is found.
Stray cats are a major problem and a threat to native wildlife and the domestic cat population. Therefore, it is best not to feed them as this will encourage them to stay in the area. Non-native birds nest in roofs and gutters and we therefore recommend that you contact a pest exterminator, as they can legally dispose of these birds and discourage them from re-nesting in the area. If it is a possum nesting in your roof, a possum removalist will be required.
They will insert a one-way door into the roof space so the possum can leave the roof and then fill the holes that the possums are using to get in. Legally, possums may only be moved 50 meters from where they are caught as they are very territorial. They cannot be relocated as it is an offence under the Wildlife Act to do this with a protected species. Unfortunately it is not an offence to lock a dog in a car until it is severely heat distressed.
The best thing to do in this situation is to ring the police on as they are the only party legally able to break an animal out of a vehicle. Please also take down the number plate of the vehicle in question; RSPCA Inspectors will send a warning letter to the owners of the animal, advising of the dangers of locking dogs in cars. Aggressive dogs need to be reported to the local council as this is a local law issue. If you are in Victoria, the power company in the area has an emergency and faults number; this has to be called as the electricity has to be turned off in order to remove the animal.
Stray cats sometimes use the storm water drains for shelter from people and other animals. They are a local council issue. Therefore, if you find a stray cat coming onto your property you should be entitled to have a cat-trap delivered as part of the cat-trapping programs in place through councils. If, however, your local council does not offer this service, cat-traps can be hired from pest companies which you can find in the Yellow Pages and cats that are caught can be taken to a local veterinary clinic, free of charge.
Unfortunately, stray cats and kittens are unable to be re-conditioned once they have become feral. Therefore, the most humane thing for the cat is for it to be euthanised, so that is it not at risk of being hit by a car, attacked by dogs or dying from disease. Another person can therefore trap your cat on their own property and can then contact the council to collect the animal. As the owner, you then have to pay a reclaim fee through the local pound to reclaim your cat after it has been micro chipped and registered with the council.
The council may also fine you for having an unregistered animal. To stop this problem, your best option is to ensure that your cat is contained on your own property by locking it in at night, building a cat enclosure or installing cat-proof fencing to prevent your cat from escaping. This also assists in preventing your cat from potentially being hit by a car, getting into fights, contracting diseases and killing wildlife or native birds. If you have found a dead possum or any other marsupial the first thing to do is to check its pouch to make sure no babies are inside.
If there are babies, do not remove them. If you have found a dead cat or dog in a public location contact your local council; they will collect the animal and take it to a local shelter to check the animal for ID in order to notify owners. If the animal is found on your property the council will not collect it unless on crown land.