It takes 18 possums to get one kilogram of fur.
That means it would take about 1800 possums to make 100kg – the amount of fur that was believed to have been stolen from woolbuyers Brian Redding Ltd in Gore at the weekend.
Sergeant Greg Ballantyne said police had received a report on Monday that someone had entered the Aparima Street premises overnight on Sunday and taken 100kg of possum fur valued at about $11,000.
Brian Redding owner Jim Patterson declined to comment on the stolen fur.
“I’m not very happy about it and I don’t want to comment about it in the meantime.
“There’s more to the story,” Patterson said.
Bob McLean, of McLean Wools, said possum fur was hard to identify because of the lack of branding and it was likely that whoever stole it would be selling it in small lots.
“If someone turned up with 100kg of possum fur then we’d be asking some questions,” he said.
One bale of possum fur was worth $13,000 to $14,000, McLean said.
There was strong demand for possum fur which had been driven by the tourism industry and it was used to make socks, gloves, and mixed with merino wool to make jerseys, he said. MORE>>>
Lined with possum, a rather adorable looking Australasian marsupial, they are said to be among the most exclusive ski mittens in the world. And costing an eye-watering £295 a pair, it’s little wonder they are. Made by niche British firm alexski, the black leather mittens sported by the Duchess of Cambridge on her family holiday to the French Alps were bought for her by her mother Carole Middleton as a gift. Indeed, Mrs Middleton was so enamoured of her purchase that she bought a matching pair in red for her other daughter, Pippa, also a keen skier.
The firm’s owner, Alexandra Bennett, couldn’t hide her delight yesterday when she saw Kate had been photographed in one of her products. She insisted that the use of possum fur, which she imports from Christchurch, New Zealand, and arrives in bales of raw, tanned skins, is not as cruel as it might sound. ‘They are considered vermin out there,’ she said.
Possums are a small to medium-sized marsupial which were introduced to New Zealand in the mid-1800s by European settlers in an attempt to establish a fur industry. With no native predators, its numbers have risen to levels where it is considered a serious pest. Attempts to eradicate them have reduced numbers by half to around 30 million animals and since 1996 fur from wild-caught possum has been used in clothing. MORE >>>