The New Zealand Possum

[Facebook] [Twitter]

The possum is a cute furry animal, originally from Australia, New Guinea and Sulawesi and recently introduced in New Zealand and also China. The possum is a marsupial with a small tail, nocturnal and mostly arboreal. Some species of possum adjust very well to urban life, although it is actually an animal that lives in a vegetated habitat. A possum can be herbivore, omnivore, insectivore or nectar-feeder. In New Zealand was introduced the common brushtail possum in order to create a fur industry. European settlers did this, but their experiment went terribly wrong. In present, in New Zealand there are too many animals of this kind and they are considered a pest.

In this country, there are no predators of this animal. This is why the possum became easily a pest. It damages the native trees and the native wildlife of the country and no measures to eradicate it were successfully until now. The worst part is that the possum carries bovine tuberculosis. For New Zealand, the introduction of the possum was disastrous and had horrible ecological effects. The introduction of the possum to this country was similar to the introduction of rabbits in Australia, thing that also had ravaging effects on the nature. Due to this disaster, from 1996, Untouched World, a fashion company of New Zealand has made great efforts to use the possum in the fashion industry.

The company created a blend of the brushtailed possum fur with merino fur. This product was called merinomink. It was also known as eco-possum, possumdown, eco fur or possum wool. All the animals used to create this new type of fur were those from the wild, which were considered pests. The blend was used to adorn jackets, bed throws and leather gloves. Apparently, this was the most successful measure to reduce this pest, represented by possum in New Zealand. In the first years, the number of animals reduced to half in comparison with the numbers from the 1980s. This way, the country gained a little bit of possum control and also bovine tuberculosis control. Of course, the possum is still one of the most popular pets even in this country, although those in the wild represent a problem.