Thunder Bay

Photogenic possum relocates to northwest

A northwestern Ontario man has an unusal visitor, and he has the pictures to prove it.

Lake Helen First Nation resident surprised by unusual rodent visiting his back yard

Lake Helen First Nation resident Al Hardy snapped this picture of a possum in his back yard. Normally animals like these frequent more southern climates. (Al Hardy)

A northwestern Ontario man has an unusual visitor, and he’s got the pictures to prove it.

A possum has been hanging around Albert Hardy's home on Lake Helen First Nation near Nipigon. The animal is normally found in southern Ontario and in the United States. Hardy said he first saw the possum in November.

"So I tell people about it and they figure ... they say I'm seeing a rat," he said. "So I had to get those pictures to prove them wrong."

Hardy said he thinks the possum may be living under his heated shed.

He said he first was alerted to the possum when the motion detectors went off in his back yard. Hardy assumed it was his kids playing games, or some deer he was feeding.  But when he looked outside, he saw the possum on the ground. He ran back inside, got his camera and took a picture.

Hardy said he had to look twice. He noted he had seen possums on television — but never before in person.

"I don't know, it looked like a rat at first," he said. "That's what I thought it was. Then I noticed it had a pinkish tail. And it had little hands for feet. That's about it. And I didn't know where he went ‘cause it was dark."

Hardy said he’s been leaving apple slices and bread for the animal every night — and they are being eaten.

"He looks alright," Hardy added. "He's running around in the snow. I figured he wouldn't survive because there is no fur on his feet and his tail is pretty much bare."