We often hear of property owners complaining of a nuisance possum taking up residence in the roof, but Wildcare also gets contacted occasionally to see what can be done about an animal caught in a chimney.
As one of Wildcare’s volunteers, Vivien says, “I recently got a call to rescue a possum trapped in a firebox (see photo). This wasn’t an unusual call in winter, as possums seek out a cosy dark warm place to have a nap.
“But we don’t normally expect possums to be able to scale a chimney from the outside, get in under the chimney cowl and then take up residence in the flue or firebox. Unfortunately there is no guarantee they can get back out again.”
Vivien goes on to say, “Larger hardware stores now sell possum-proof chimney cowls. In possum habitat areas, it is probably a good idea to use one when installing a slow combustion stove.”
Wildcare has a policy of not removing possums from roof voids and chimneys, due to the safety of volunteers. This task is left to the house owner or a reputable pest controller who can be hired to help catch and remove possums.
There are a number of techniques a house owner can use to scare off a possum that is in the wrong place and then block off the animal’s entry point. Wildcare is happy to give advice. Possums that are removed must be released locally.
Sadly, Wildcare has had a number possums in care having been poisoned by rat bait. When using rat bait in the roof, garage or anywhere, make sure possums or other animals cannot access it too.
Wildcare can be contacted on 62991966 for advice. Wildcare has possum boxes for sale to provide alternative accommodation options.
Photo caption: Possum in a firebox