Opossum takes a ride on the subway

This picture was taken of an Opossum on a D train in New York City. (NEW YORK TIMES)

January 18, 2012 2:22:17 PM PST
A four-legged marsupial caused quite a scare on a Manhattan-bound D train last week.

An opossum apparently hopped on the train at Coney Island, where the platform is above ground, last Friday and curled up near the heating duct under a seat.

When startled passengers spotted the critter around 4:30 a.m., many thought it was a rat before closer inspection proved otherwise.

The subway car was evacuated a few stops later in Manhattan as officers wearing heavy gloves tried to remove the creature. But when it bared its teeth, Animal Control experts were called in.

The New York Times reports that finding the nocturnal animal on a subway train was rare in several ways. First, they tend to like trees. Two, they are not burrowers, although they sometimes go below ground in search of food or warmth.

Rats and pigeons are are commonplace in the subway, but New York City Transit spokesman Charles Seaton said it was the first time anyone could remember seeing a wild animal in the system.

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