Ray Liddall was dropping her 7-year-old niece off at a Napier school when she spotted it - a very large, very dead possum hanging feet down from a palm tree.
It had been killed by a remarkably effective Napier City Council trap, but Liddall, who was at Nelson Park School for a holiday programme at 8.30am on Wednesday, wasn't so happy at its public demise.
"I'm all for pest control, but seeing a very large adult possum hanging by its neck is a bit much," Liddall said.
"I would hate to think how many kids saw that."
Liddall, whose partner alerted her to it, said she was lucky she was able to shield her niece's eyes.
"If she had seen it, she would have had nightmares."
She said if the trap had to be placed in the tree, which is directly outside the school gate, then the council should ensure pests were removed before kids arrived in the morning.
A Napier City Council spokesman said traps were the best option in the urban environment where they can be easily monitored.
The traps were generally checked early each morning, as most traps were triggered during the night, he said.
"Poison in busy urban areas, like the Nelson Park area is not advisable as there is risk of pets getting secondary poisoning. "
Between 12 to 15 traps (a mix of Possum Master and Timms Traps) are used by the council around Napier where the control of possum numbers is required.
The one used outside the primary school is a Possum Master kill trap.
The council was investigating whether to start using traps with sensors, which sent a message when triggered, the spokesman said.
By the time Hawke's Bay Today went to the tree in the early afternoon, the possum had been removed.