Hank the Opossum Moves into Woman's Garage, Goes Viral
A viral Reddit thread about an opossum that made a garage his home has taught us a lot.
We've all heard stories about stray cats who wander into a house and accidentally find their forever home. But we bet you've never heard the one about an opossum who moved into a woman's garage and won over the internet after a Reddit thread about him went viral.
An image of this friendly fur baby named Hank (seen above) was posted to Reddit earlier this week with the caption, "This is Hank. Hank lives in my aunt's garage. He's very old and has a hard time walking, so she set up a warm place for him to rest and feeds him lots of treats."
Immediately, there were some questions, like "Is he tame or just friends with your aunt?" According to the original poster, "Hank showed up a couple of years ago and hung around a bit for cat food," and while he isn't necessarily "tame," he's also "never hissed or seemed afraid." Eventually, he decided the garage would make a splendid home, so Aunt Karen leaves the side door to the garage open so he can come and go as he pleases. She even made it all cozy for him.
"Your aunt is a good, kind person," one Reddit user commented. "Opossums are our friends and are harmless and beneficial to our gardens and landscape. They love snails and grubs. And kibble!"
Indeed, many people don't know that there's a difference between a possum and an opossum, as their names are often used interchangeably. While they are both marsupials, opossums are native to North America, and—according to the Opossum Society of the United States (OSUS)—they are generally "docile, non-aggressive animals," who provide free gardening by eating "unwanted pests around your home."
Possums, on the other hand, are native to Australia and are liable to attack without warning. Both, however, are likely to "play possum," the term for their penchant to play dead when faced with a predator.
Below, you can see a possum (left) versus an opossum (right).
So, now you know! Opossums are our friends.
"My old neighbor would sit food out for a possum," another Reddit user wrote on the thread. "I stood in her driveway one night talking to her and the thing walked right past me to the food bowl. I thought I was going to pass out. She was like, 'It's harmless.' I've never looked at them the same since. lt was like a cat that didn't want to be bothered." (So, basically, like most cats).
Clearly, Hank has taught the internet so much these past few days.
"I love Hank," another Reddit user wrote. "The saddest day of my life was when I found out the average life span of an opossum."
Indeed, according to OSUS, the opossum only lives one to two years, and they once roamed the earth with dinosaurs! So, if you come across this ancient creature in your garden, be sure to treat them with the respect they deserve.