OPOSSUMS

*** “Animal Help Tips” is offered as a public information source, not a formal instruction manual on how to deal with wild animal situations. The Wildlife Rescue League does not accept responsibility for any outcomes that might result from reading and acting on this material.***

OPOSSUMS:

Birthing: February-July; up to 13 babies
Eyes opened: 60 days
Weaning (beg-end): 10-12 weeks
Active: Nighttime; year-round
Diet: Carrion, insects, fruit, garden crops

SPECIAL INFORMATION: Opossums are migratory rather than territorial. They carry their babies with them when they go out or move on. Only when the babies get older might a mother leave the babies behind while she searches for food. Opossums are timid and not aggressive, but if cornered or afraid they can give a painful bite. They have more teeth than any other mammal.

Q - I found baby opossums? What should I do?
A - If a mother opossum is killed, she should be checked for babies in her pouch or clinging to her and they should be removed immediately. Call the Hotline immediately to get the name of a rehabilitator.

Q - When do I know a baby can be away from it's mother?
A - Opossums normally stay with their mother for about a year. Mothers do not retrieve their babies. If the opossum is less than 10 inches long (not including tail), it must go to a rehabilitator. However, any opossum that is 10 inches long, healthy and uninjured can be left alone. Place it under a shrub away from cats and dogs.

Q - How do I handle an injured adult oppossum?
A - Injured adults should be placed in a box by moving it with a big towel and garden gloves, shovel, or other instrument (do not pick up with hands) and transported to a rehabilitator.

Q - Where might opossums live?
A - Opossums will take over old groundhog or skunk dens.