(or, I’ve Become a Wildlife Trapper )
Today we extend our scope from mammals (bandwidth hogs) and rodents (groundhogs) to marsupials. You’ll want to read part 1 of this series before continuing. (Or maybe you won’t want to.)
Episode #14. After our successful capture, is our problem really gone? The Critter Control guy shows us that we can stuff a wad of loosely crumpled newspaper into a groundhog hole like so:
This will give you an indication of what’s happening in the den. The paper is easy to push out of the way, but it helps you diagnose what’s going on. If it’s pushed into the hole, something went in there. If it’s pushed out of the hole something WAS in there. If the paper isn’t touched, relax.
Episode 14-a. I fantasized about groundhogs constructing an elaborate infrastructure of interconnected tunnels around our house but in fact they don’t do that. They create a short little hole and use it as a den. I was thinking that they could go in one hole and come out another but maybe that’s prairie dogs.
Episode 15. Newspaper is untouched. Traps untouched. Problem solved?
Episode 16. Rustling in trap number 1 — the one that hasn’t caught anything yet. Investigation reveals… the wrong animal!
This charming marsupial also loves a tasty apple.
I was thinking that he would “play possum” [sic] but he was chill. Wikipedia says that when an opossum “plays possum” he passes out involuntarily for up to four hours and secretes a disgusting scent from glands near the anus. (You can learn a lot of things from this blog.) He smells like death, in other words. It’s not just closing his eyes for a second.
He didn’t “play possum” for me, though. This guy just wrinkled his nose. Apparently I am not scary enough.
Episode 17. We have a debate about whether or not the opossum needs to be deported. I want to keep him. The rest of the family says no. Outvoted.
Episode 18. Oh no! The newspaper has been pushed in. Someone went down there. Or was it the roofers? The traps are untouched.
Episode 19. Critter Control hasn’t even picked up the opossom yet and there are reports of a chittering, chattering banging from trap #2! Another capture. And — it is difficult to see in this picture because of the perspective — this guy has a serious weight problem. This is a wide groundhog! And he’s fighting mad!
He bites the cage for a while until ennui sets in. Then he goes quiet and waits for his ride to the county park. Along with the opossum.
Episode 20. Is this the last post in the series? Who knows? Two more apples and the traps are re-set and waiting.
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