Opossum sneaks into Florida elementary school, hides beside toilet in girl’s restroom

·1 min read
Brevard County Sheriff's Office photo

The girl’s restroom at a Florida elementary school ended up covered in crime scene tape after someone discovered an opossum lounging next to a toilet.

It happened just after the morning bell rang Tuesday, Aug. 16, at Indialantic Elementary, according to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office. The school, about 75 miles southeast of Orlando, has 740 students, in grades pre-kindergarten through sixth grade.

Investigators did not reveal who made the shocking discovery, but a photo shows the opossum crouched in one of the stalls, with its back to the wall.

School Resource Deputy Matt Swartz and other staff tried “to coax the critter out,” but it refused to leave willingly, officials said. He dubbed the creature: Harry O. Possum.

“In an effort to make sure everyone was safe and none of the children were frightened, Deputy Swartz blocked the door with crime scene tape and stood guard at the door until additional units could arrive,” officials said.

Wild Florida Rescue, a nonprofit wildlife rescue agency, eventually “captured the opossum and took him away on various charges including trespassing, loitering and prowling,” the sheriff’s office said.

Wild Florida Rescue says it “immediately and safely released in the nearby woods.”

Investigators did not speculate on how the opossum got into the school undetected. However, opossums are known to use ceiling crawl spaces as a means of travel.

Opossums are native to Florida and adult males can reach 6 pounds, with a 19-inch body length and 17-inch tail, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences reports.

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