Animal Planet

Trip Start Oct 28, 2004
Trip End Aug 08, 2005

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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Friday, March 25, 2005

Maybe I'm the only nerd out there who likes to watch Discovery Channel on a fairly regular basis, but for all the other nerds out there let me just say that being in New Zealand is just like being in a real life Discovery Channel program. If you drive two hours north of here you can gaze at seals hanging out on the rocks or travel three hours to the east and you can find yourself standing on the beach amongst the penguins. Want to see sealions? They are just a couple hours south. But for those of you who want an upclose and personal look at a New Zealand possum you have to travel no further than Cabin 40.

It is common knowledge around these parts that possums are an impending pest around New Zealand, having been brought over from Australia and reproducing to a population more numerous than sheep. They are not the typical rat looking possum from the United States...these instead resemble racoons and are large and furry. It is a favorite New Zealand pasttime to hunt these horrible little animals for fun and sell the fur for heaps of money.

We hadn't been properly introduced to these animals until moving into the motorpark. Our first encounter, which you may remember, was when one tried to get into Pete's house over New Years and since then we have not been able to escape them. They make a horrible noise that sounds similar to a lawnmower being started unsucessfully which we have now learned is because they carry tuberuloisis. Gross. During our walks home late and night we hear their noises coming from the shadows and walk a bit quicker as not to meet one face to face. Just think Jurassic Park.

About a week and a half ago Molly and I were sitting in our living room minding our own business when I noticed outside our window that there was a possum hanging from our telephone pole directly in front of our house. Since our house is raised our front porch almost bumps into the pole making the possum quite close to our everyday view. Of course the thing was dead, hanging from his tail with an arm wrapped up in some wires. We were instantly grossed out and confused as to how it got there but didn't really pursue the situation until our half-baked neighbors noticed it and called all their friends over to mock it and take pictures. One brought their dog and tried to convince it to climb up the pole and kill it. I had to remind them that it was already dead and it would be in vain for the dog to learn how to climb a pole. They were just as confused as to how it got there and one girl suggested that maybe the neighbors (us) shot it and put it there. Can you imagine Molly and I sitting on our front porch with shot guns??

I finally made my way to the motorpark office to ask if they knew what to do in a situation like this. She offered absolutely no resolution except to a. throw sticks at it until it fell down (but then we would have a dead possum on our lawn) or b. wait until it just decays and the birds start pecking at it. Right. Thanks a lot.

So the possum is still there getting grosser and grosser by the day. And we still don't know what to do about it. All I can say is that the motorpark is getting classier by the minute.
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