Monday, September 20, 2010

Rats! Opossums Pull a Fast One in Brooklyn

Last year, we talked about the opossums in our yard and on the porch and their general increased presence around our Flabush neighborhood.

My previous DITHOB post here

Now, this past weekend, the NY Post reported about an opossum population boom in the borough. While the Post headlined the article "Rat Bastards," it apparently actually isn't exactly the little critters' fault since the Post also reported  that this bit of Fauna Brooklynensis isn't strictly a naturally occuring phenomenon.

Rather, some as yet unidentified City agency may have released them as a means of controlling the growing rat and rodent epidemic in the city. The concept being that the little critters would chomp away on a rat snack and diminish the rodent population, after which they too might be expected to disappear from lack of their intended food source. However, the little guys have pulled a fast one. While it is not clear that the rat population is down, the opossums have been getting at trash cans, fruit from trees, and other delectables, and their population has increased substantially as a result.

NY POST reports: "A city Sanitation spokeswoman said they were not involved with the Brooklyn opossum drop, and the Health Department didn't have any record of it. But Scavo and two city councilmen said city officials spoke about the effort at a 2007 Brooklyn forum. City brought possums in to take care of rats," read Community Board 15 notes from the meeting.

The opossums were set free in local parks and underneath the Coney Island boardwalk, with the theory being they would die off once the rats were gobbled up, said Councilman Domenic Recchia (D-Brooklyn). Instead, the critters have been populating, spreading to Park Slope and Manhattan.


"The population has boomed in recent years," said Josephine Beckmann, district manager for Community Board 10, which represents Bay Ridge. "They climb up in the tree and have a good meal."
Full NY Post article here

How long will it be before the seal of the City of New York replaces the beavers with opossums (or for that matter, the lady on the Brooklyn seal is cradling an opossum instead of carrying fascese , the bundle of sticks with an axe blade protruding, a traditional emblem of republicanism, or strength through unity) ?

And, what next? Alligators to get rid of the opossums?

1 comment:

  1. i saw one on my stoop in bay ridge last year.

    ReplyDelete

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