Page last updated at 22:59 GMT, Saturday, 27 March 2010

US man 'tried to revive dead opossum' in Pennsylvania

The opossum is generally about the size of a pet cat

Pennsylvania police have charged a man with public drunkenness after reports that he tried to resuscitate a long-dead opossum on a highway.

State police said several witnesses had seen Donald Wolfe, 55, tending to the roadkill about 65 miles (105 km) north-east of the city of Pittsburgh.

One reported seeing Mr Wolfe kneeling before the animal and gesturing as though he were conducting a seance.

Another reported seeing him give mouth to mouth resuscitation to the carcass.

State police Trooper Jamie Levier said the animal had been dead a while, the Associated Press news agency reports.

The opossum, colloquially known as a possum, is about the size of a domestic cat.

Such animals are known to feign death when threatened, giving rise to the phrase "playing possum".

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