Opossum Caught in Cat Trap Near Sand Island
NR12-09 – July 26, 2012
HONOLULU – Workers in the Sand Island industrial area who were attempting to capture feral cats got a surprise yesterday morning when they found an opossum caught in a cat trap. The company called the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) and inspectors were sent to pick up the animal. It is not known how the opossum got there, but they are known to hitchhike in shipping containers, which are common in the area.
Opossums are native to North America and are omnivorous, with diets that range from insects, bird eggs, and rodents to fruits and vegetables. While opossums are less likely to carry rabies than other mammals, they are carriers of parasites and other diseases. Because the origin of the animal is unknown, the opossum is being tested for rabies as a precaution.
In August 2011, an opossum was found in a shipping container as it was being unloaded in the Ward Center area. In 2005, two opossums were found – one was captured inside a military cargo plane at Hickam Air Force Base and the other was found in the mail receiving area of the U.S. Postal Service facility at Honolulu International Airport.
Individuals who have illegal animals are encouraged to turn them in under the State’s Amnesty program, which provides immunity from prosecution. Anyone with knowledge of illegal animals in Hawaii is asked to call the toll-free PEST HOTLINE at 643-PEST (7378).