Homeowner finds gruesome animal skeleton hidden behind cupboard for 30 years – so can you guess what it is?

  • Mystery animal skeleton falls out from behind old cupboard 
  • People speculate whether it is a cat, a wallaby or a huge rat 
  •  House owner’s vet friend believes it belonged to a possum

A man was shocked to find a well-preserved animal skeleton lying behind an old cupboard – but it has left people scratching their heads about what creature it belonged to.

Andrew Higginson, who lives in the inner Canberra suburb of Cook, told Daily Mail Australia that he found the skeleton when he moved an old cupboard that had been in the property’s horse stables for at least 30 years. 

‘The people who owned the house had horses that they used to keep up in the paddocks nearby and would bring down on the weekend,’ the 68-year-old said.

‘We moved the old cabinet and there was that skeleton lying in the straw.

‘I thought “what’s that?” 

Canberran Andrew Higginson was astonished to find this very well preserved animal skeleton when he moved an old cupboard 

Mr Higginson took a close up picture of the creature’s formidable teeth to aid in identification

‘I uncovered it and it was so big. At first I thought it could be a rat, it was very well preserved.’

The 60cm long skeleton has pronounced teeth with a particularly formidable set of bottom incisors, short clawed forearms and longer back legs with a smallish tail. 

Mr Higgins posted a picture of the intriguing find on Twitter and asked for people to weigh in on what the mystery creature was.

‘Found this. Mate reckons it is a big rat? Any other options?’ he tweeted.

Some agreed it was a very large rat but others went with a wallaby, a small kangaroo or a cat.

Other more creative suggestions were a ‘small tyrannosaurus’ or the mythical drop bear.

Mr Higginson then sent the photo to a vet friend.

‘At first he thought it might have been a rat but he took a closer photo of its teeth and he said “no, no it looks like a possum'”,’ Mr Higginson said. 

The Mammals Team from Sydney’s Australian Museum also said it was a possum when they were shown photos of the creature. 

‘It’s a most likely a Brushtail Possum, Trichosurus vulpecula but there is also a chance it could be a Mountain Brushtail Possum, T. caninus,’ the team said.

‘The dentition and skull shape excludes cat (would have a large canine and fewer teeth) and the forelimb to hind limb ratio, excludes macropods. Large premolar excludes Ringtail Possum.’ 

There have been resident possums in the stables since Mr Higginson bought the property 30 years ago. 

‘There are still possums living in the shed,’ he said.

‘There are generations of possums that have taken it as their home. One with a baby we see quite regularly.’ 

The cupboard that hid the skeleton is being offered by Mr Higginson to anyone who wants to restore it 

MrHigginson (pictured) said he was keeping the skeleton for now but hoped to find it a better home than his garage

Originally Mr Higginson was going to dispose of the skeleton but had thought better of it.

‘I was going to bin it but if someone wants to take possession of it, given it’s so well preserved, I’ve still got it in my garage at home,’ he said. 

‘I am happy to give it to a better home. It’s probably a bit lonely in my garage at the moment.’ 

He is also looking for anyone who wants to restore the old cupboard it was behind. 

Mr Higginson has five adult children with two boys, aged in their 20s, still living at home while they study at university.

‘They were quite impressed with the skeleton,’ Mr Higginson said.

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