I Found an
Opossum

I Found an Opossum – 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 article on the Opossum by clicking here.

I Found an Opossum!
Does this Opossum Need your Help?

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 home-care specialist to foster baby mammals or becoming a Wildlife Rescuer and Transporter, please call us for the next available free classes.

I Found an Opossum Baby OpossumsDisplaced: If you find a displaced baby opossum, most likely it fell off of the mothers back or chances are the mother may be deceased and the young crawled out of the pouch. Follow the “Orphaned” directions below.

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 home-care specialist to foster baby mammals or becoming a Wildlife Rescuer and Transporter, please call us for the next available free classes.

I Found an Opossum Opossum Pouch BabiesOrphaned: If you find one orphaned opossum, look carefully, there may be more nearby. A baby opossum is considered orphaned only if the mother parent is confirmed to be deceased. If you find a dead opossum on or near a road, check to see if it is a female. (Females have a distinct pouch, while males have obvious testicles.) If there are babies in the pouch,  pull them off immediately and carefully and transport to PRWC or your closest wildlife rehabilitation center. If you are not positive the baby opossum is actually an orphan, please read the “Displaced” information above.

Depending on the age, the opossum will need supplemental formula to survive. It is best NOT to feed the opossum any foods or formulas without knowing the specific proper diet that is required according to the opossums 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 opossum 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 opossum 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 home-care specialist to foster baby mammals or becoming a Wildlife Rescuer and Transporter, please call us for the next available free classes.

I Found an Opossum Opossum Ready for ReleaseInjured: In may cases, it is obvious that a opossum is most likely injured. If this is the case, the opossum will need immediate medical attention and should be brought to your local Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. If you find a dead opossum on or near a road, check to see if it is a female. (Females have a distinct pouch, while males have obvious testicles.) If there are babies in the pouch, pull them off immediately and carefully and transport to PRWC or your closest wildlife rehabilitation center, please follow the “Orphaned” information above.

An injured opossum 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 opossum is already feeling. Throw a sheet or pillow case completely head to toe over the distressed opossum, 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 opossum.

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 home-care specialist to foster baby mammals or becoming a Wildlife Rescuer and Transporter, please call us for the next available free classes.