The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 7, Issue 7 (December 1, 1932)
There are, happily, indications that New Zealanders are beginning to realise what a curse the opossum is to the bush and the orchards. Like the rabbit, it is one of those creatures which once introduced is fearfully difficult to get rid of. It is strange to find Acclimatisation Societies actually urging that more opossums should be liberated; there are, it seems, some areas of bush yet “un-stocked,” and the societies cannot rest until they have infested them too with the little animal that has proved a pest.
The Auckland Institute Council, the principle scientific body in North New Zealand, is gravely concerned over the unrestricted spread of the opossum, and such men as Professor A. P. Thomas and Professor Worley strongly condemn it as an enemy of the orchards, the bush, and the native birds. Fruitgrowers complain bitterly of the destruction which the opossum carries to orchards, and scientists and bushmen alike testify to the damage caused in the forests. Now, the Auckland body calls for steps to be taken to exterminate the pest.
It is not an easy matter, that proposed raid on the opossum in retaliation for its raids on our bush and birds and fruit. You can't pot a 'possum as you would a red deer or a wild goat, and there is the small matter of official protection and the revenue from royalties on skins. It is now fairly a subject for discussion and for education of the public mind on the subject. One thing is very obvious—when New Zealand fatuously imported those first pet 'possums it didn't know what it was letting itself in for. It was the same with our dear little friend the rabbit, seventy years ago.page 48