An opossum caused a New York City subway evacuation, leaving straphangers with more than just rats to watch out for in the main transportation option for city residents.
The animal reportedly hopped aboard a Manhattan-bound train at the first stop at the far edge of Brooklyn on Friday, Jan. 13. Riders, shortly after leaving the Coney Island station, reported seeing the possum nesting in the train's heating duct, beneath the seats.
It is unclear how the animal boarded the train.
The train had to be evacuated. Passengers left the train in Manhattan and crews worked to remove the pest, according to reports.
The sighting was a new one for subway riders, who commonly see rats and pigeons in subways stations and on trains.
New York City Transit Spokesman Charles Seaton said this was the first time a wild animal, like a possum, was found in the subway system.
Transit employees, armed with heavy gloves, brooms and trash bins were unable to remove the animal from the train at the Manhattan stop. The animal reportedly snarled at the workers when they attempted to capture the critter.
Transit officials closed the doors and sent the train on its way to the train yard in the Bronx without passengers, according to reports. Animal control officials were on hand in the borough to remove the possum.
It is unclear what caused the animal to board the subway train.
Some speculation suggests food smells, which often permeate from the trains, were the culprit. Others suggest it was trying to escape the bitter city cold and take cover in the heated cars.
There were no immediate reports of any injuries to people as a result of the possum found on the subway.
Passengers were loaded on to another train, which arrived in the station minutes after the train carrying the possum departed for the train yard.
The early morning incident caused minimal delays to the typically crowded transit system.