Couple's television show interrupted after hairy nose pokes through hole in wall

When two holes were chewed through in the plasterboard, the homeowners tried to capture the creature hiding inside.

A brushtail possum's nose poking through a hole in the wall at Helensvale.
A Gold Coast couple were watching TV when a nose poked through their wall. Source: WIRES/WildCare

As the sun went down on Tuesday night an Aussie couple took part in a familiar ritual of relaxation. They put their feet up, switched on the TV and settled in for the night.

Then a mysterious creature started chewing holes through their walls.

The first sign something was wrong was that their pet dog started furiously barking. “They thought it was a rat or something at first, but then they saw a nose poking through the hole,” the attending animal rescuer told Yahoo News.

Amy Wregg was called to the Gold Coast address because of her specialisation in helping native animals in need. When she arrived she discovered two holes eaten through the couple’s living room wall.

And by that time the homeowners had worked out the creature in their wall was a large brushtail possum. Worried it had become trapped, they’d tried to get it out themselves by cutting a larger hole in the plasterboard, but the animal had eluded capture.

“They were definitely more worried about the possum’s welfare than the wall,” Wregg said.

The residents gave permission for Amy to cut more holes in their wall. But the possum surprisingly made its own way out of the wall and outside, leaving all involved stumped as to why it was so keen to break inside.

A red circle around a second hole in the wall at the Helensvale address.
The Gold Coast couple started cutting holes in their wall to try and set the possum free. Source: WIRES/WildCare

“I’m not sure why it was chewing out through the walls because there were plenty of ways it could get out of the wall,” Wregg said. “I think they had a fruit bowl nearby and maybe it could smell it.”

To stop the possum re-entering the wall, the outer holes where the possum entered have been plugged. But simply keeping the possum out of the roof won’t help its welfare.

While it’s annoying to have a large possum bounding around in your roof, the marsupials usually only enter homes when they have nowhere else to go.

The homeowners are planning to install a possum box that their local brushtail can live in — a move Wregg thinks is a “great idea” and something other Aussies should consider.

“The couple live in a habitat area and they care about wildlife. But there are other people who need educating,” she said.

“For instance they need to stop using rat baits in the roof. We’ve had lots of possums recently where they've haemorrhaged and we’ve had to get them out of the roof while they were bleeding to death.

“Unless you fix the problem where they're getting into the roof, and provide habitat for them, they're just gonna keep coming in.”

Wregg is licensed wildlife rescuer at WIRES and WildCare.

Love Australia's weird and wonderful environment? Get our new newsletter showcasing the week’s best stories.