Virginia Opossums

The Virginia Opossum is the only marsupial found in North America. In the United States, it is typically referred to simply as a possum. It is a solitary and nocturnal animal about the size of a domestic cat. It is a successful opportunist. It is familiar to many North Americans as it is often seen near towns, rummaging through garbage cans, or lying by the road, a victim of traffic. You can read PRWC’s Dr. Robin Jenkins latest article on the Opossum by clicking here.

Does this Possum Need your Help?

A passel of baby opossums

Displaced:  Keep in mind scared or injured animals may bite and can also carry and transfer disease and parasites such as mites. Wear gloves and use extreme care when handling any animal. Please call 941-637-3830 if you need wildlife rescue assistance or for us to guide you in the steps to rescue and transport the possum yourself. Please DO NOT keep the babies to care for yourself or to make as a pet, there is a lot involved in successfully rehabilitating wildlife. If you are interested in becoming a homecare specialist to foster baby mammals or becoming a Wildlife Rescuer and Transporter, please call us for the next available free classes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opossum with a mohawk

Orphaned: If you find one orphaned possum, look carefully, there may be more nearby. A baby possum is considered orphaned only if the mother parent is confirmed to be deceased. If you find a dead adult possum on the road, if female, there may be babies inside her pouch and will need immediate attention (see pictures at the bottom of this page). If you are not positive the baby possum is actually an orphan, please read the “Displaced” information above. Depending on the age, the possum will need supplemental formula to survive. It is best NOT to feed the possum any foods or formulas without knowing the specific proper diet that is required according to the possums age and health. However, it is very crucial to keep the possum warm and kept covered in a quiet stress free container with air holes and lined with a pillow case and something warm until a wildlife rescuer arrives and the possum can be transported to your local wildlife rehabilitation center. Yes, you can gently handle a baby mammal and the mother will still care for it. If you need to possess the possum for more than two hours, place the container partially on a heating pad set on low temperature. Keep in mind scared or injured animals may bite and can also carry and transfer disease and parasites such as mites. Wear gloves and use extreme care when handling any animal. Please call 941-637-3830 if you need wildlife rescue assistance or for us to guide you in the steps to rescue and transport the possum yourself. Please DO NOT keep the babies to care for yourself or to make as a pet, there is a lot involved in successfully rehabilitating wildlife. If you are interested in becoming a homecare specialist to foster baby mammals or becoming a Wildlife Rescuer and Transporter, please call us for the next available free classes.

 

 

Virginia opossum ready for release

Injured: In may cases, it is obvious that a possum is most likely injured. If this is the case, the possum will need immediate medical attention and be brought to your local Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. If the adult possum is dead on the road, if female, there may be babies inside her pouch and will need immediate care, please follow the “Orphaned” information above and see pictures below. An injured possum will most likely be in pain and highly stressed and the animal may bite or be difficult for you to handle. It is very important to reduce the trauma and stress the possum is already feeling. Throw a sheet or pillow case completely head to toe over the distressed possum, wrap sheet around the animal being careful not to get bit, pick up and place into a secured container or box with air holes. Do not make any attempt to examine, medicate or feed the possum. Keep in mind scared or injured animals may bite and can also carry disease and transfer parasites such as mites. Wear gloves and use extreme care when handling any animal. Please call 941-637-3830 if you need wildlife rescue assistance or for us to guide you in the steps to rescue and transport the possum yourself. Please DO NOT keep the babies to care for yourself or to make as a pet, there is a lot involved in successfully rehabilitating wildlife. If you are interested in becoming a homecare specialist to foster baby mammals or becoming a Wildlife Rescuer and Transporter, please call us for the next available free classes.

 

Op Pouch Babies

Neonate baby Opossums inside the warmth and safety of their mothers pouch.

Mama Op