Feb 06, 2014

We caught us an ugly varmint

Back in December 2010 we discovered what a tlacuache was.  It is a possum like critter found here on Stone Island/Isla de la Piedra.  We have spoken with some of the locals and some do eat them, others use their grease to soothe a cough and a cold.

We knew we had a critter problem three or so weeks ago when we found something had been eating the pineapple we had left outside to ripen.

In January of 2011 we discovered we had a critter problem when we found left over canteloupe all over our site.  You can see the photos here.  That year Colin did catch our tlacuache and released it into the wild.  That year one couple had one die in the basement of their RV and it was horrible, details on the link above with the photos.  A week later el tlacuache struck again.  Actually you might say he got struck out when he chose to nest inside a truck.  That was a mess to clean up.

So this year we knew we had to catch it sooner than later before it took up residency in our RV. Colin devised a trap.

All the locals had their idea of the best bait. The egg was the only thing that is did not eat. The idea was as he grabbed the egg the string would pull the stick and the critter would be caught.

Meanwhile our neighbour found evidence of a possum visit on the top of his generator so he set up a rat trap.  The food was taken but the critter remained at large.  Soon we started finding our bird orange which is spiked on a nail on a stick that sits high up in the top of our generator.  Day after day our trap was sprung and the various types of food were gone as was the critter.

The trap needed to be bated differently. No matter what food we used or how it was placed in the trap, the food was gone in the morning.

The tlacuache only hunt at night and there a local joke here on the Isla.  If you are caught laying about during the day you are accused of being a tlacuache, who sleeps all day.

When we cooked our dorado the other night Colin kept a piece of the raw fish for bait.  He then borrowed the rat trap from John and very carefully tied the string around and around and around the piece of fish and place the rat trap just so within our trap so it would shut even quicker than it had before.  It was a matter of leverage and balance.  Colin was tired of this critter outwitting him.

Guess what happened?

We caught us a big old ugly varmint!

Colin was trying to help Ishmael put it into a sack. They put the trap inside the pump room to prevent the critter from escaping if it tried to.

Look at those teeth. There is no way I could pick that thing up with my hand.

At this point the possum got it's head out of the bag and Ishmael calmly placed his hand around the jaws in order to not get bit and pushed it back into the sack.

Colin was holding the shovel in case we had to hit the critter on the head if it ran away. The girls had been hollering with the sent of a huge rat just on the other side of their fence. Between them they pushed so hard that they breached the fence and got to the sack. Caeli, our mild little doxie who likes to sleep, was on the attack, trying to rip the sack open with her teeth.

As Ishmael carried the sack away the girls followed.

As we assumed that we would be catching a tlacuache we had discussed with David the owner of Tres Amigos RV Park what to do with it.  He said that often even if dropped off miles away they will still return to the area they were captured in.  So arrangements were made to have it taken to the Mazatlan Aquarium where it will live with other similar creatures.  Meanwhile it took all day for the girls so settle down.

Now we may must have to catch another varmint.  Ishmael says there are always two, a male and a female.


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10 responses so far

10 Responses to “We caught us an ugly varmint”

  1. Dolores tanner says:

    What an ugly thing, nasty…. the girls were VERY interested and wanted to take care of it good and for all!!!!

    • contessa says:

      Dolores….yes it was all of that and even creppie…if that is a word. I think the odor of the critter got to the girls and they wanted to end it’s life.

      Teri..it was very nasty but there was no way we could kill it. A few years ago others killed the ones they had caught but not us.

      Peter…Oh yuck…12 shots..that would be painfull. We will be sure to catch all of these before you arrive here.

      Larry…now there is a thought…the various parrots, etc and a few possum!

  2. Teri says:

    I’m so glad you caught it and didn’t kill it. Those teeth do look scary though.

  3. Peter says:

    Nasty looking critter! Serious teeth, reminds me of 12 shots in the belly when one of our dogs got rabies. Painful, be careful with these rats, and watch the doxies.

  4. Larry Vanstone says:

    Every year you guys have assn extra animal some where. Ever thought about starting your own zoo?

  5. Croft says:

    You did not name it with a “C” name?

  6. Jean says:

    that’s one ugly looking creature, glad you didn’t kill it though. The dogs look so cute following Ishmael.

    • contessa says:

      Jean….there is no way we could kill it. We never killed the one we caught in January 2011 unlike others here in the park. I was happy to know it would live a good life at the aquarium.

  7. Hugh Martell says:

    Crafty critters, those tlacuaches. It appears that Colin had to feed it the ‘whole enchilada’ before he could catch the beast. Hope you get the other one.

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