Tiny Possum Scurries Down Homeowner’s Chimney in Viral Video

by Caitlin Berard
(Photo by Pleio via Getty Images)

Unlike the opossums of North America, Australian brushtail possums are tiny, averaging just five pounds in weight. They’re also far cuter, more closely resembling squirrels than the hissing nocturnal nightmares of the southeast. Though considered pests by many, these miniature marsupials prefer to nest in forests and wooded areas than in residential areas.

That said, possums are also highly opportunistic. If they find a suitable space for themselves and their young, they’ll set up a den without hesitation. Possums are among the most versatile and adaptable of all the marsupials in Australia.

Excellent climbers, possums are not only capable of scaling trees with ease but homes and chimneys as well. In fact, attics and chimneys make for the perfect hiding place. They’re warm, dark, and provide protection from the elements.

For many, finding a possum in their home would result in an immediate call to animal control. While possums are generally harmless, they can cause a fair amount of destruction, eating fruit and flowers in gardens and nesting in attics and chimneys.

One Australian family, however, doesn’t seem to mind at all. After finding a possum in their chimney, their immediate reaction was to call a wildlife ranger, who then removed the creature from their home. But at that point, the possum already considered the family his human roommates and simply came right back.

Ultimately deciding that he wasn’t doing any harm, they helped him build a nest in their chimney, sharing the experience in the now-viral video on TikTok.

Australian Family Continues to Feed Possum in Chimney

According to the family, the possum returns to their chimney every day to relax after a long night of adventures outdoors. They have yet to name him, but they’ve spent the last month or so testing out different treats for their new friend.

In the first video, the homeowners feed him orange slices. When opening the chimney door to offer the snack, it’s clear that the possum has already begun nesting, using pieces of cardboard as bedding. As time goes on, the chimney fills with more cardboard and the remains of the possum’s many meals.

“The possum has returned for a rice cake, water, orange, and a bit of our breakfast berry smoothie,” they wrote in the caption of one of the posts. “We then cleaned out the fireplace a bit so he can be more comfortable.”

He later returned for some pear, at which point the possum has obviously grown more comfortable with his human caregivers. Rather than backing into the corner of the fireplace, he’s waiting near the door to greet them. Though they don’t touch him with their bare hands, the family now uses what appears to be a blunt fire poker to pet him while he munches his fruit.