Possum-keeper reunited with "pet"
RAOUL Harvey was like a dog with two tails yesterday afternoon when he was reunited with Fred the possum.
His voice cracked with emotion as he welcomed home the affectionate critter.
“I never thought I'd see you again,” he cooed.
Fred had been looked after by licensed wildlife carers since last Thursday after he was taken from Raoul's five-acre property on the outskirts of Mt Morgan on the orders of the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.
Raoul feared he would lose the pet, and his other possum, Josie, because it's against the law to keep them as pets. So he went into hiding with Josie, afraid that officials would return to seize her.
But, after a couple of nights “deep in the bush where no one would find me” he got the call he'd been craving yesterday morning.
“I was told that the carers had been talking about my case and decided they should return Fred,” he said.
“I don't want to win Lotto - I've just won it.
“I'll play Santa Claus for them if they want.
“Nothing means more to me than these animals, and I know they would not have survived in the wild.
“The law said they had to be released into the wild, but they have never been wild animals and at six and four, they would not have stood a chance.”
After The Morning Bulletin reported Raoul's story on Friday and Saturday there was a huge groundswell of support for him.
Josie the outlaw became a media personality, with television and radio journalists chasing coverage.
“I got loads of messages and I know they have made all the difference,” he said.
There was no one available from the Parks and Wildlife Service yesterday afternoon to make an official statement.
But Raoul now thinks he will be allowed to keep both possums after Fred was given the all-clear by a vet.Read more...
Josie is still 'on the run'
Raoul's possum magic