More than 70 people have joined the search for a domesticated possum that escaped from an enclosure in Byford Meadows Estate last month.
Benji’s devastated family said he managed to escape on the evening of November 17 after a miscalculation during predator proofing maintenance on his enclosure created a small gap.
Emily Jones, Benji’s owner, said a search team had been scouring the streets in search of Benji ever since, pamphlet dropping and sharing photographs of him on social media.
But with few large trees in the semi-rural area, Ms Jones is certain he would have wandered off in search of somewhere safe to explore and holds grave concerns for his safety.
“As you can probably imagine, after having him as an important part of our family for three years, I am devastated,” she said.
“We have had quite a few nights with up to 10 people scouring the streets with spotlights and pamphlet-dropping.
“The more locals that join this group and let me know of local possum sightings, the more likely I am to find him before it is too late.
“Benji isn’t possum-savvy.
“I am hoping he has found someone’s veggie garden to share and that he hasn’t gone too far – somewhere without dogs and cats nearby.
“It’s wishful thinking, but it is all I can do right now besides encourage people to tell me of sightings, put out the trap and hope he comes home.
“Being semi-rural, I fear people will see him and assume he is a wild possum.
“He isn’t suited to being a wild animal, which is why he was never initially released back into the wild in the first place.
“I really need community help.
“I have purchased a possum trap and plan to trap possums.
“If I trap Benji then we get him back and he is safe.
“If we trap possums that aren’t Benji they will be released immediately on-site.”
Those who spot a possum, particularly one acting out of character or near Byford Meadows estate are urged to contact Emily Jones on 0416973780.
To join the search, visit Byford Possum Hunt – Help Us Find Benji the Possum on social media.