Last week an opossum caused a frenzy when he left his home in New York City’s Bryant Park possum and entered a subway station.

Maybe he was on his way to Coney Island before summer ends? Or couldn’t find a cab during rushhour? Or going to the Bronx for a Yankees game?

This opossum sighting follows news earlier this month about a shark found on the subway

How often do riders encounter strange animals on NY subways?

Last January the New York Times reported on another opossum found in the subway.  In that article, The Times detailed a nice history of subway animal incursions.  Anecdotally, however, the opossum seems to have its predecessors. An official at the transit workers’ union said he could remember seeing raccoons hanging around the D train platforms in the Bronx. One veteran subway worker recalled the presence of “subway cats” in the 1980s, but those, he said, frequented the tunnels, not the trains.  Pigeons often fly into open train doors in the Rockaways, where the stations are near the beach. Rats, of course, might as well be considered permanent residents of the system.  (Similarly, CBS-2 reported on how “Pigeons, Rats, Dogs Keep Subway Riders Jumping”)

Animals are the least of the unusual things riding on the NYC Subway.  Be careful, you never know when you will encounter

Darth Vader capturing Princess Leia,


a Panhandler Party,

or a “GE Executive” from 30 Rock in a singing group.