New rodent playing possum in GTA
Published Thursday, March 8, 2012 5:44PM EST
A strange rodent is burrowing its way back into the Greater Toronto Area and pest control experts say it might be here to stay.
Terry Thorsell, who has been in the pest control business for more than 20 years, says he is getting more and more calls about a strange looking animal that many are mistaking for a giant rat.
But what it appears to be is an opossum – a marsupial that carries its young in a pouch like a kangaroo.
Thorsell said the sightings of these furry creatures have become frequent over the past few months.
"It would be rare to get one a few years ago," he told CTV Toronto. "But now we see two or three a month."
No one knows for sure just how many there are in our city, but wildlife experts say the milder winters are helping them survive.
But experts say that these animals are not to be feared. They are characterized as shy scavengers that are not known to attack people. Although their sight is not very good, their sense of smell is excellent.
"If they are frightened, they stand their ground and show their teeth, out of fear," said Nathalie Karvonen, at the Toronto Wildlife Centre.
Experts suggest homeowners keep sheds and garage doors shut at night and make sure the lid on your green bin is secure.
With a report by CTV Toronto's John Musselman