A glimps into the world of wildlife rehabilitation…the world through a rehabber's eyes.

Opossum!


At WCCR, we name our animals alphabetically in the order that they arrive. This helps us to more easily keep record of  just how many animals have come through our doors (ie-how many times has the alphabet repeated it’s self in that species?).

Tonight, I picked up an opossum. It is a female, and has no babies. Normally, I would just relocate her. However, this opossum is acting abnormal. She seems disoriented, dehydrated, and just generally off. So, I am going to hang on to her for a few days just to make sure she is okay. I have named her Abigale.

Cute, isn’t she? So many people are scared of or don’t like opossums…they are such cool creatures! Did you know that opossums have such a low body temperature that their bodies don’t really support any modern diseases? Not even rabies survives well in opossums.

If I remember correctly, the only recorded case of an opossum with rabies was actually an individual that got bitten on the head by a rabid animal, basically injecting the virus directly into the brain tissue. Their nervous systems (how the rabies virus would travel through the body of a host) are far more symplistic than that of modern mammals.

Opossums have been around for millions of years. They are a living dinosar of sorts. They are very non-agressive. They may hiss at you if you scare them, but generally, that is the most they are going to do. They love eatting snakes, roaches, rats, and mice…and yes, if you feed your cat out doors, opossums LOVE cat food! This is one wild animal I have no reservations about grabbing with my bare hands. Using the base of the tail, of course. They are actually very “handleable”.

Sweet Abigale rode home in the passenger seat of my car. In a carrier, of course! Her gums are pretty pale, so I may need to see about getting some fluids for her…and a propper cage while Im at it…No offense, Abigale, but I do not want you in my bedroom in a dog crate for however long I have you!

Now to get her some dinner, and some water (by the way, what do you think of my new camera?).

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