Helpful possum facts for Oakland A’s fans
By David Hill
Some bars will allow their patrons to bring their pets with them. The Coliseum, baseball’s Last Dive Bar, is taking this to the extreme with the volume of cats that are in their walls. Lately, Oakland A’s fans may have had to deal with the occasional possum as well, especially as they have been seen poking their heads out of the ceilings and in Dallas Braden’s trash barrel.
As possums are relatively misunderstood, it is easy to see why people would be afraid of one. However, as it is possible that a possum will be a neighbor at the next A’s game, here are a few helpful facts to get to know the next critter one may see at the ballpark.
Getting to know the Oakland A’s possum pals
Possums are known for playing dead, but this is not something they can actually control. Instead, it is a reaction triggered by intense fear. Likewise, they cannot control how long they play dead for as that state can last for hours. They also secrete a substance that smells like rotting flesh to further the experience.
While they are known for playing dead, possums are very useful creatures. They are estimated to consume approximately 5000 ticks per year, helping to slow down Lyme Disease. Possums also cannot become rabid, contrary to popular misconceptions.
Ticks are not the only things that possums eat. Their diet also consists of cockroaches, mice, rats, and other vermin. They even consume carrion, helping take care of the ecosystem. Considering that the Coliseum is in the state of disrepair it is, having another creature, along with the cats, to take care of the vermin in the stadium can only help.
There are plenty of other fun facts about possums. They are the only marsupial that calls North America home. As a nocturnal creature, they have the perfect sleeping habits to catch a ballgame. And, with their tail acting as a fifth appendage, one never knows where a possum could appear.
If possums are going to be at the Coliseum, Oakland A’s fans may as well know what they are in for. Hopefully these facts can help with the newest residents.