September 24th – Mulberry thief

Brush-tail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula)

This photo wasn’t so much about capturing more urban wildlife, it was more about coming face-to-face with my mulberry bandit – and their young.

With the bush now starting to bear fruit, the possums have closed in for their regular late night feast. While a John Wayne-like standoff ensued, I then noticed the young possum out for the night, no doubt learning the ropes.

Possum hunting was once popular in Australia, as the fur was considered to be quite valuable. The practice was banned in all mainland Australian states, however the species is only partially protected in Tasmania, where there is still a possum hunting season.

In New Zealand the possum is considered a pest, and a potential carrier of Bovine Tuberculosis – a highly contagious cattle disease.

This was one of the major contributors to New Zealand parliament passing the Biosecurity Act 1993, a world first, which is in essence a national pest management strategy where animal or human life can be considered at risk.

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