(photo credit: Martin Bisi)
Take opposums for example. Over the past few years, there have been quite a few sitings reported in Gowanus as well as in Carroll Gardens.
Just last night at about 10 PM , friend and music producer Martin Bisi came across the little fellow above at the corner of President Street and 3rd Avenue. Obviously, Martin and the other passers-by were more thrilled about the encounter than this little marsupial.
At least, he did not 'play dead' as opossums are known to do.
"When threatened or harmed, they will "play possum", mimicking the appearance and smell of a sick or dead animal. This physiological response is involuntary (like fainting), rather than a conscious act. In the case of baby opossums, however, the brain does not always react this way at the appropriate moment, and therefore they often fail to "play dead" when threatened. When an opossum is "playing possum", the animal's lips are drawn back, the teeth are bared, saliva foams around the mouth, the eyes close or half-close, and a foul-smelling fluid is secreted from the anal glands. The stiff, curled form can be prodded, turned over, and even carried away without reaction. The animal will typically regain consciousness after a period of between 40 minutes and 4 hours, a process that begins with slight twitching of the ears."
Gowanus is also home to a growing population of raccoons, which, unlike opossums, seem to be less shy when encountering humans.