News / Toronto

Opossum flying back to Toronto after hiding out in Calgary-bound truck

Animal nursed back to health after spending up to a week on delivery truck.

A stowaway opossum is back in Hogtown after a wild ride across Canada.

Staff from the Toronto Wildlife Centre greeted the critter when he landed Friday at Pearson airport — nearly a month after he made his way to Calgary in a transport truck carrying goods from Brampton.

Dehydrated and thin when discovered, the wayward traveller was nursed back to health at the Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation.

Since Calgary doesn’t have opossums, the animal wouldn’t fare well if released into the wild there, said Nathalie Karvonen, executive director at Toronto Wildlife Centre. So, an anonymous donor paid for his flight back home.

The opossum has, for the most part, recovered — packing on about two pounds since being rescued from the truck — and will be ready to go his own way soon, Karvonen said.

When that time comes, he’ll be taken back to Brampton because Ontario law requires that most mammals be released within a kilometer of the spot where they were taken into captivity.

It’s not the first time Karvonen’s team has helped an accidental traveller. Others have included a snake found in a delivery from Florida, a skunk from California and a scorpion that made the especially long trip from Costa Rica.

“It has happened a number of times over the years where an animal has gone investigating when a truck is being loaded,” Karvonen said.

As for what might have attracted the latest stowaway to his unintended ride, it’s anyone’s guess.

“I think only the opossum knows,” Karvonen said. “And, he’s not talking.”

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