Maui News

Opossum Found In Shipping Container

August 9, 2011, 10:32 AM HST
* Updated August 9, 11:01 AM
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An opossum was captured at a retail store at Ward Center. Photo courtesy of Hawaii State Dept. of Agriculture.

By Sonia Isotov

A young opossum was found in a shipping container at a retail store at Ward Center, Honolulu, this morning at about 7:30 a.m.

The animal which weighed about 1.5 lbs, was captured by police offers responding to a call from workers unloading the container who initially saw the animal and immediately closed the container. Inspectors from the Hawai`i Department of Agriculture (HDOA) picked up the animal soon thereafter.

The origin of the animal is unknown, however authorities will test for rabies as a precaution. Although opossums are less likely to carry rabies than other mammals, they are known carriers of parasites and diseases. Native to North American, opossums are omnivorous and have 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.

In 2005, two opossums were found in Hawai`i. 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.

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Anyone with knowledge of illegal animals in Hawai`i is asked to call the toll-free PEST HOTLINE at (808) 643-PEST (7378).

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