Opossums — and this isn’t debatable — are better for the planet than we are.
These quiet, toothy marsupials don’t create trash or stab one another or blather on about “Game of Thrones” or slip paper bags full of cash under tables to pay off blackmail. They eat bugs and berries, animals we’ve plowed into with our cars, and ferry their babies on their backs while they scamper in the darkness from one habitat we’ve destroyed to another.
When they’re scared, they try to act tough, then resort to playing dead. Who can’t relate?
Sadly, the opossum at the center of a Bloomsburg University scandal was wide awake and annoyed while a student and two other young men allegedly doused it in what is undoubtedly a light beer and kissed its head before dumping it in a trashcan last weekend. These bros shared their antics on social media — another thing opossums don’t bother with, despite having thumbs. The public flipped out.
“You don’t just go and treat an animal like that and dump beer down its throat and its eyes, and then just throw it in the garbage,” Bloomsburg sophomore Rachel Bell told 16 WNEP of Scranton.
On Tuesday, “Possum Posts Probed” was the top story at the Press Enterprise in Bloomsburg. Two petitions were started to punish the young men, who were ultimately charged yesterday with unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife and disturbing game or wildlife.
“The opossum was forced to consume alcohol, forcibly kissed by a human, forcibly manhandled by the neck which is incredibly painful for an Opossum, and one picture would suggest that the animal was punched in the abdominal while being forcibly kissed.” — Change.org petition
The men — Michael Robert Tice, of Newport; David Mason Snook, of Reedsville, and Morgan Scot Ehrenzeller, of McAlisterville — could face a fine of up to $1,500 and up to three months in prison. Ehrenzeller is a student at the school, 135 miles northeast of Philadelphia.
The animal, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, ran off, though opossums don’t run all the fast.