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Opossum found in cat trap near Sand Island

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 6:53 p.m. HST, Jul 26, 2012

An opossum turned up Wednesday in a trap set for feral cats near Sand Island.

State Department of Agriculture said today that the animal had been sent off for rabies testing as a precaution.

Workers at a company in the Sand Island industrial area found the marsupial in a cat trap and state inspectors were dispatched to collect it.

Opossums, native to North America, are known to hitchhike in shipping containers, which are common in the area.

In August 2011, an opossum was found in a shipping container as it was being unloaded in the Ward Center area, the state said.

In 2005, two opossums were found — one inside a military cargo plane at Hickam Air Force Base and the other at the airport post office. 

Opossums are omnivorous, with diets ranging 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 other diseases, the state said in a news release.

Individuals who have illegal animals are encouraged to turn them in under the state’s amnesty program.  Anyone with knowledge of illegal animals in Hawaii is asked to call the pest hotline at 643-PEST (7378).

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