Even the smallest of our neighbors get into trouble at the local swimming pool, and it doesn’t always end well. Luckily, local firefighters managed to bring a happy ending to a Folsom swimming pool accident involving a furred resident.
An opossum looking to beat the summer heat braved the other visitors for a dip at the Folsom Aquatic Center on Sunday, August 6. Somehow, the animal got stuck in one of the pool drains, and went unnoticed until roughly 2 p.m. Pool staff called for assistance from the nearby Folsom Fire Department.
“That’s a new one” for a Folsom swimming pool accident
Pets in distress in our own backyard is a surprisingly common occurrence. With the summer still blazing hot, even cats and dogs will go to surprising lengths to cool down. We know dogs have a reputation as swimmers. Cats, less so, but they prove themselves to be very adept in the water.
An opossum is not a common visitor to the aquatic center, much less to the pool itself. How it got trapped in the pool drains is a mystery, but it did make for a light-hearted take on swimming pool rescues.
Firefighters arrived shortly after being called for assistance. Working with a grabbing claw and reaching into the drains to coax the opossum into reach, the animal was successfully captured. Facebook video shows the animal ‘playing ‘possum’ in the net it was placed in, a natural reaction to its stressful situation.
Catch and release
The opossum would be taken to a field that was well away from homes or businesses, and released back into the wild. It would not be a surprise to find it or other opossums making their way back into town, either for a swim or for food.
While not a traditional visitor to the Folsom Aquatic Center, Virginia opossums have long been considered fairly regular residents in many US towns and cities. They are highly successful opportunists, eating whatever is available, so they are often found in or near garbage cans.
If you find an opossum, even one in the middle of a Folsom swimming pool accident, it’s recommended that you call for help to remove or rescue the animal. Opossums are not particularly aggressive, but can respond viciously if they feel threatened. The risk of a bite is not one to take lightly, so it’s recommended that you wear protective gloves if you’re going to handle an opossum.
Also, be prepared for the smell. If they suddenly play possum, they produce an odor intended to drive off predators, and would be rescuers like you!