Some important things to know if you find a baby opossum.
With their big teeth, hissing and the long rat tail opossum’s can be very scary looking. They are in fact North America’s only marsupial (meaning they carry their babies in a pouch) and are rarely aggressive. These guys get a bad rap because when they are stressed, they play dead (for up to four hours!) and will foam at the mouth. Due to this they are commonly associated with rabies, however this is a defense mechanism. In fact, they are quite the opposite, as they are almost totally immune to rabies.
Opossum’s spend their time foraging through the brush and are meticulous groomers. They also eat the ticks that they collect on their travels, many ticks which can contain Lyme disease. In fact, studies have shown that one opossum will eat about 5,000 ticks a year. Their diet consists of insects, slugs, snakes, mice, and rats as well. While they may look scary, they are good neighbors to have around. Many times, during breeding season, if the mother has been killed, they still have a pouch full of babies that need our help. We ask that you call us, so these babies have a chance.
Opossums will remain in their mother’s pouch until they are two months old. Then they will ride on their mother’s back until they are about four months old. These mammals are fully independent when they are 7 to 8 inches from head to butt. If found alone, give us a call as soon as possible.