New Zealand woman ‘held hostage by a possum’

A New Zealand woman had to call the police for help when she found herself “being held hostage by a possum” in her home.

The University of Otago post-graduate student said she was unpacking her car at her home in Dunedin’s North East Valley when she felt something run up her leg.

“I pulled it off me, thinking it was a cat, and then I saw it was a possum,” the woman told the Otago Daily Times.

The woman said she fled into her house, and every time she tried to go outside, the possum would reappear and charge at her.

Animal control officers referred her to police, but the woman said she was having trouble getting through to the Dunedin Central Police Station, so she called the emergency number to report: “I’m being held hostage by a possum.”

Sgt. Craig Dinnissen said an officer arrived at the woman’s home and was speaking with her through a window when the possum climbed the officer’s leg.

The officer was able to stun the possum using the beam of his flashlight, and the animal was placed in a box with some dried pet food.

Dinnissen said the officer relocated the possum to an area far from the woman’s home. The sergeant said the possum’s behavior was unusual and theorized the animal may have been formerly kept as a pet or may have just recently been separated from its mother.