'As big as a fat cat' and twice as cranky: POSSUM ATTACKS FAMILY!

By Andrew Thomson
Updated November 7 2012 - 12:24am, first published September 3 2008 - 1:34am
Siblings Chelsea, 1, Lachlan, 5, and Jacob, 10, re-enact their response to the possum's attack. BELOW: The marauding possum. 080903GW40 Picture: GLEN WATSON
Siblings Chelsea, 1, Lachlan, 5, and Jacob, 10, re-enact their response to the possum's attack. BELOW: The marauding possum. 080903GW40 Picture: GLEN WATSON

A DENNINGTON family was left stunned after police used capsicum spray to subdue a rampant possum that was terrorising their home.The two-and-a-half hour drama started on the front porch of the Norris family's Tylden Street home about 8pm on Monday when the brushtail possum attacked a family friend.It then bailed up the frightened mum and her children in a car.When urgent calls to wildlife officers went unanswered, Andrea Norris was forced to call in the police.Ms Norris, 36, said the belligerent brushtail was "as big as a fat cat". She said two of her four children were out the front of the house when her 10-year-old son tried to pick up the possum, which he mistook for a cat, and was scratched."WE had some visitors around for tea, Mark Hammond and his son Andrew. Mark went around to feed the possum a bit of bread with my five-year-old son Lachlan so he could tell his kinder mates about it," Ms Norris said."Mark always wears shorts and the possum jumped on his leg and sank in the claws and teeth. He was trying to shake it off but it was well attached. It was hilarious. Mark finished with a couple of holes in his leg and a few scratches."Ms Norris said she took one son to hospital after he cut his foot during the ordeal and when she returned the possum was hiding behind a pot plant."When I got out of the car it took off after me. I was stuck in the car with two of my kids. The possum was sitting near the car just waiting for me to get out," she said.Ms Norris said she tried to contact Department of Sustainability and Environment wildlife officers without success and after three calls to Warrnambool police, officers arrived."They walked straight up and capsicum sprayed the possum. Unfortunately, at the same time I wound down the car window and we all got a dose as well and spent the night coughing. "Then police grabbed one of the kids' toy rake and chased the possum away."Police said they arrived at the scene to find an extremely aggressive possum.They said the capsicum spray did not have a dramatic effect - the pugnacious possum simply rubbing his eyes, shaking his head and remaining just as cranky.DSE senior flora and fauna manager Andy Govanstone said the possum's behaviour was not normal."Possums normally shy away from people so it's unusual for there to be a confrontation with people," he said.The possum remains at large.

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