After a thorough investigation of an incident involving an injured possum in the Hilton Head area last week, the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) has been unable to confirm allegations posted on social media that the animal was attacked or beaten with golf clubs. SCDNR takes allegations of abuse of any wildlife very seriously and will continue the investigation into this incident if additional information or evidence becomes available.
The investigation by Beaufort County SCDNR Officers included multiple interviews with individuals involved with the rescue of the injured possum, which was found when a passing motorist spotted it on the side of a road, approximately 300 feet from a golf course fairway and some nearby homes. In a statement provided to SCDNR, the Good Samaritan who stopped to help the possum did not advise seeing golfers or any other people in the area, and no other people stopped or were present at the scene before local volunteers affiliated with the nonprofit group Wildlife Rehab of Greenville arrived to pick it up. An examination by a local veterinarian could not yield a conclusive determination about the cause of the possum's injuries.
SCDNR would like to sincerely thank everyone involved in the rescue of this animal, as well as the numerous well-meaning individuals and groups that have donated towards its care. Anyone with additional information is encouraged to contact the SCDNR’s Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-922-5431, or the SCDNR TIPS mobile app [available at www.dnr.sc.gov/law/OGT.html]. SCDNR will immediately follow-up on any credible information provided, and callers can remain anonymous if they prefer.