“Grubby” the Virginia opossum is captured by Homer Police officer Taylor Crowder on Wednesday, May 24, 2023 in Homer, Alaska. Photo by Homer Police Department

“Grubby” the Virginia opossum is captured by Homer Police officer Taylor Crowder on Wednesday, May 24, 2023 in Homer, Alaska. Photo by Homer Police Department

Grubby saved

Virginia opossum taken in by Anchorage zoo

Good news for the #FreeGrubby movement: Grubby, the opossum stowaway spotted on the loose in Homer earlier this year, has gained a new lease on life.

According to a May 25 Facebook post by the Homer Police Department, Grubby was finally apprehended nearly two months after she first arrived in Homer via a shipping container delivered from Washington state to Spenard Builders Supply.

Officer Taylor Crowder found the opossum near Lakeside Drive and Smoky Bay Way on Wednesday, May 24 around 5:25 a.m., according to HPD. After Crowder “attempted to contact the suspect alone,” Grubby fled the area before coming to a dead end, where she was cornered in front of a local business, the Facebook post states.

In working to contain Grubby, Crowder suffered a minor injury when the opossum bit him in the hand. Crowder succeeded in capturing Grubby inside a “very comfortable” Rubbermaid trash can before transporting her to the Homer Jail, according to HPD’s Facebook post.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game originally planned to euthanize the opossum upon capture, as opossums are considered an invasive species to Alaska and could potentially have negative impacts on the local ecosystem, as Homer News previously reported. However, according to a May 25 article by Alaska Public Media, after ADF&G assistant area biologist Jason Herreman contacted regional animal facilities to see if anyone would take Grubby in, the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage volunteered.

Grubby arrived at the Alaska Zoo in the evening on May 24, where she has since been resting safely in quarantine in the infirmary, according to a May 25 report on the zoo’s website. Grubby will most likely become a permanent resident at the zoo as part of an exhibit on invasive species in Alaska, according to zoo director Patrick Lampi, APM reported.

Homerites — and other invested Alaskans — have the opportunity to continue supporting Grubby through donations to the Alaska Zoo. For more information, visit alaskazoo.betterworld.org/.

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