Staff at Dunedin Botanic Gardens in Dunedin, New Zealand, have observed the game being played during the past four years. However, recently it has increased in popularity to the point that concerns have been raised not only about the safety of the players, but to the risk to the trees, some of which are heritage trees, more than 100 years old.
The Urban Dictionary
defines possum, as,
A great drinking game where players have to sit in a tree, like a possum, and consume a pack of 24 beers, preferably speights, until they fall out of the tree from drunkenness.
The game is popular with students at the Dunedin campus of the University of Otago that has about 20,000 students. The campus is situated close to the Botanic Gardens. Alan Matchett, the parks manager for the Dunedin City Council, was quoted by AFP
It's been occurring fairly regularly for the last two or three years. What they drink has to come out again so they do throw up and urinate from the trees. Obviously it's not nice to have that left behind.
As reported by Fox News
, staff at the University of Otago assist park employees by looking out for drunken students occupying trees. A university spokesman was quoted as saying,
There have been two occasions earlier this year where students have been located by Campus Watch staff in trees.
The students were required to clean up the messes they made and are subject to further discipline by the university proctor.
To date, there have been no reports of any injuries suffered as a result of tumbling out of trees.
As noted by the New Zealand Herald
, news of the "possum" drinking game has "gone global". It will only be a matter of time before some beer drinking students come to a tree near you.