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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Possum 'Breaks In' and Trashes Woman's Office, Curls Up and Hides Behind Her Computer

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Break-ins are generally terrifying ordeals that make homeowners feel like strangers in their own house. They feel like their safety has been compromised, and knowing someone has gone through your things and helped themselves to your possessions is unsettling to say the least.

But for one woman in Canberra, Australia, the break-in she experienced was mostly amusing — to herself and everyone who began following along with her story.

It all began on Jan. 20, when she entered her office at the Australian National University and saw that the room was in disarray. Books, papers and artifacts were scattered about, and one of the ceiling tiles was missing.

Little did she know at first that the culprit was still in her office, and had likely been watching her the whole time. When she spotted it, she realized what must have happened.

“It wasn’t until I went to check my computer on the far side of the room that I noticed a fluffy little face staring at me from behind the computer,” Bree Blakeman said, according to BuzzFeed News. “And that’s when I also noticed the toilet droppings and urine everywhere too. It all made sense.”

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“It seemed resigned and of course a bit shy and scared. Going by the number of books that had fallen from the shelves I think it must have tried to climb up the shelves to get up through the ceiling again a number of times. So I think it was a bit exhausted too.”

Giving the brushtail possum some food and water, she let it be and called for wildlife relocators. And she started tweeting the experience.

“Walked into my office and thought someone must have broken in because it looks trashed…” she shared, “and then I saw this little sweetie covering behind my computer.”

“It’s crashed through the ceiling, poor ting! I gave them some water, closed the door again, and have called the relevant people on campus to help catch+relocate them,” she tweeted later.

She kept her followers updated with every advance, and it wasn’t long before backup arrived.

“Update: three [lovely] people came to assess the situation,” she wrote. “They are going to come back with a little possum box and some fresh fruit and then we must all wait until it decides to go into the box. Possibly 24hrs. Not even mad.”

While there was no improvement by the next day, by Wednesday morning the critter had summoned enough energy to make its own exit.

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“Final (happy) update: possum catcher checked my office again this morning & the possum wasn’t in the cage but it seems to have found it’s own way out of the room,” she explained. “After a bit of rest, some water and carrot it must have climbed back through the hole in the ceiling.”

“I’m glad this story had a happy ending but many don’t and many of these little possums end up having to be rescued for one reason or another,” she said.

People have enjoyed the photos of the adorable little troublemaker and even mentioned that the poor thing looked rather sheepish about the whole ordeal.

Hopefully it will stay out of offices from now on, though based on Blakeman’s kind response it certainly picked the right one to crash into!

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking