Opossum Found in Shipping Container and Sugar Glider Turned In

Posted on Aug 8, 2011 in 2011 News Releases, News-Releases

NR 11-16 – August 8, 2011

HONOLULU – A young opossum was found in a shipping container at a retail store at Ward Center this morning at about 7:30 a.m.  Workers unloading the container saw the animal and immediately closed the container and called police.  Responding officers captured the animal and inspectors from the Hawai`i Department of Agriculture (HDOA) picked up the animal, which weighed about 1.5 lbs.

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 diseases.  Because the origin of the animal is unknown, the opossum will be tested for rabies as a precaution.

Two opossums were found in Hawai`i in 2005. 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.

This afternoon, a sugar glider was also turned in to the Humane Society under the amnesty.  Sugar gliders are marsupials that are native to Australia and are strictly prohibited in Hawai`i.  This is the second sugar glider turned in in two weeks. 

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 Hawai`i is asked to call the toll-free PEST HOTLINE at 643-PEST (7378).