Those of us who regularly take public transportation often see some curious characters on nearby seats. But passengers aboard a Manhattan bound D train late at night on Friday the 13th couldn't ignore one suspicious passenger: an opossum curled up beneath a seat.
Personally, I'd rather have the opossum than some of the other smelly or otherwise unsavory individual as a fellow passenger. Riders on this train, though, according to The New York Times, were alarmed and wanted the marsupial ejected.
The NYT's reports that the opossum "had apparently boarded after the train departed from its Coney Island terminus, had curled up beneath a seat, comfortably close to a radiator, as the train rattled through the wilds of Brooklyn."
How the long-tailed tree fancier wound up on the train remains a mystery. It's also a mystery as to what happened to it.
At first, police evacuated the D train after the train arrived at the West Fourth Street station in Manhattan. There, "a group of police officers, armed with heavy-duty gloves and a canvas bag, were on hand to nab their perp. The officers were turned back, however, after the animal bared its teeth and snarled, the police said."
Animal control agents were brought in next. The cops and agents converged at the subway yard next to the Grand Concourse in the Bronx, according to Paul J. Browne, the chief police spokesman. Service returned to normal after about 1/2-hour delay.
Officials from New York Animal Care and Control did not respond to calls from the NYT asking what happened to the opossum. So long as the animal was healthy, I hope that it was safely returned to a more opossum-appropriate location.
The story recalls other, more successful non-human public transit riders. One of my favorites is Casper the Commuter Cat, who regularly rides a bus in the U.K., seemingly knowing where to get on and off. If Casper gets too comfy on a seat and snoozes, considerate bus drivers there make sure the feline gets home safely.
Photo: The suspicious passenger; Credit: via The New York Times