Banana-loving possum with broken back legs rescued

Three students took the struggling critter to local wildlife rescue center

On Tuesday, Oct. 25 at 6 p.m., Sam Carr, a sophomore sociology major, and Kai Velasquez, a sophomore sociology and urban studies double-major, ran into some friends looking at a struggling possum on the cliff off Cardiac Hill by Calvert Hall.

“We just thought maybe he was stuck under the rock, but once we were looking at him for a while, his back legs weren’t working and he was dragging himself along the rocks,” Velasquez said.

Velasquez called their friend Niko Martinez, a first-year psychology and political science double-major, who they knew was a member of Cat Alliance Trinity and might know what to do. The two of them are officers for Bee Club together.

“We were like, ‘I don’t know what to do in this situation,’” Carr said. “I wanted to help the tiny man because he looked like he was in pain. His back legs were really struggling a lot.”

Carr said that people passing them and Velasquez were questioning why they were trying to help the possum. One group of people told them that it was just a possum and that they should let it die, which Carr said made them want to help the possum even more.

“I’m just an animal lover at heart, so if I see an animal suffering, I’m not going to leave it. That’s just part of who I am,” Carr said. “And I was very worried about him because he did look like he was in pain and I didn’t want him to be.”

Martinez quickly came to Carr and Velasquez to check out the situation. Martinez started calling local wildlife rescue centers in San Antonio to see if one of them would be willing to take the possum in.

“The story that we put together is that he was probably walking on that little cliff and fell, and broke one or both of his back legs because he was kind of dragging his hindquarters,” Martinez said.

It took about an hour for the three of them to get in touch with a wildlife rescue center willing to take the possum in and care for it. They ended up leaving a voicemail at Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation, Inc., and luckily got a call back a couple of minutes later. The center told them to wrap the possum in a T-shirt or towel and put him in a box of some kind, which Carr found to be a bit of a struggle.

“He was moving a lot and so we couldn’t get him to just stay still,” Carr said. “So we bribed him with a banana, and he really did like that banana.”

Carr and Velasquez christened the possum Mr. Fluffaluffagins and joined Martinez in taking him to the rescue center to make sure he was okay. Martinez said that the banana was a point of dubiousness for the possum at first.

“At first he was skeptical. But then once we got in my car and he was just kind of chilling, he started snacking on the banana,” Martinez said. “It was really cute.”

When the three got to Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation, Inc., they handed off the possum and did some paperwork. Martinez left their phone number so they could receive updates. As of Monday, Oct. 31, they had not heard anything about the possum’s well-being, but they are hoping he’s okay.

“We just all have this undying love for this little possum. And we still make jokes about it. He was snacking so hard on that banana. It was actually ridiculous,” Martinez said. “We were just cracking up and also just trying to make sure that he was okay.”