It's possible to love a possum

  • 25/05/2015

Possums are public enemy number one when it comes to our native species - nasty exotic marsupials that destroy bush and birds eggs.

But one Hamilton woman finds at least one of them a little more endearing.

Courtney Harper has adopted a baby possum after her boyfriend shot his mother, and brought the newborn home.

Two-and-a-half years later 'Poss', as she calls him, is part of the family.

For Ms Harper, and boyfriend Barney McKay, it was love at first sight.

"It's such an enriching relationship that we have," she says.

"He adds the whole facet to my life that wouldn't be there without him."

Poss became part of their family after Mr McKay killed his mother. He was out hunting the pests on a friend's farm.

"I went to collect the fur off his mum and I just saw his little face peeking out and I just thought 'I don't know if I can do this,'" he says.

Technically, you need a permit to keep a possum as a pet, but the Department of Conservation doesn't enforce that law, as long as the possum stays on the property.

"At my old flat we had a rose bush and he could just play in there for hours and hours and we thought we lost him three or four times," Ms Harper says.

"But every single time we found him in bed. Just curled up, when we thought he'd run away."

He has never left the property, which is probably in his best interests.

"When he's naughty I threaten him, telling him he'd make a great scarf," she says.

Poss's food bill is $30 a week in mesclun leaves, oats and his favourite sweet treats: kumara and grapes.

Because possums live so long in captivity, it's a cost that won't go away soon.

Ms Harper doesn't advise seeking out a possum as a pet, but when it comes to Prince Poss she has found her own little love story.

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source: newshub archive