MANHATTAN – A ‘wild’ scene on an Upper East Side sidewalk this afternoon as the NYPD came to the rescue of an opossum that somehow found its way behind a planter and was hiding there.
The rescue unfolded around 12:30 pm Wednesday in front of the Sweetgreen restaurant on Third Avenue between East 84th and 85th Streets.
The furry critter could be seen wedged between two planters, hiding from the heavy lunchtime traffic, as police taped off the scene while specially trained officers from the Emergency Services Unit made their way to the scene.
With a dark blue animal carrier waiting for the opossum on the sidewalk, the ESU officers— clad in protective gear— grabbed the animal and quickly placed it inside the carrier.
After that, officers put the opossum in the back of their police cruiser and took the animal to Animal Care Centers of NYC where it’ll be examined before eventually being released in a friendlier habitat.
So what’s an opossum doing on the Upper East Side? Well, officials say the animal is actually native to New York and started expanding into this area in back in the 1950’s.
The only native marsupial found in North America, the Virginia opossum— today’s rescue— is nocturnal, primarily foraging at night. However, they can be spotted during the day looking for food— and a sighting does not mean the animal is sick.