03.27.2006 - I made a baby possum sighting, so I grabbed it and got some fighting, both with scratching and with biting, so now I'll do some possum writing. Baby possum on my shoulder, he is young but I am older, I am shy but he is bolder, my shoulder is a possum holder. Baby possum climbs on me, I am big but he
is wee, he is too young to be set free, he and I will drink some tea. Baby possum tiny tail, tiny hands sized to scale, little bones are thin and frail, he does not
belong in possum jail. Baby possum is a clinger, he hangs around upon my finger, from his tail he is a swinger, from his mouth he is a singer. Baby possum from
possum land, five small fingers on each hand, digs about beneath the sand, plays in a merry possum band. Baby possum mates through the nose, or that's how the story goes,
I think that the story blows, that's the end of possum prose.
I really have nothing to say about this baby opossum. Someone called me because it was in their garage, up on a shelf. I removed it, and now I will bring it to a wildlife rehabber. She will raise it for a short while and set it free in the wild. Opossums are very self-sufficient, and they leave their mother at a tender young age. So the opossum in this photo was already in the wild, doing its thing. It does stand a better chance of survival if it's a bit older though, so I will bring him to Lee the rehabilitator, and she'll take good care of him.
Do it yourself: Visit my How To Get Rid of Opossums page for tips and advice.
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Opossum diseases from handling - The good thing about opossums is that they are naturally resistant to rabies. This doesn't mean they never get the illness, it just means that cases are very rare. Still, you should never handle an opossum without knowing the risks. Most of the disease issues associated with this animal come from the ectoparasites that live on the opossum's skin. Fleas and ticks are known carriers of certain illnesses like Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and Murine Typhus. Like many other mammals, the opossum can transmit leptospirosis, a bacterial infection that attacks kidney function. Salmonella, toxoplasmosis, and tularemia are illnesses transmitted through contact with feces. This is one of the primary reasons you do not want an opossum living inside of your home. These animals are notoriously messy and will leave waste everywhere they travel. If you are cleaning up after an opossum has been removed from your home, the best thing you can do is wear a respirator mask, gloves, and goggles. You should never take the risk of handling wild animal cleanup without protective gear. Catching one of these illnesses will mean time spent in the hospital and possible permanent damage to your body.
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A baby possum is a very cute marsupial that is often misunderstood. There are over sixty species of opossum today with the most common being the Didelphis marsupialis and the Didelphis Virginiana. These species feature a distinctive pink-tipped cone shape nose and a long tail with no hair. The fur is normally gray and black or white in color.
Have you heard the saying, “playing possum”?
When a possum feels threatened by other animals such as bobcats, dogs, or foxes, they will lay over on their side and lie very still and close their eyes or stare into space. While lying there, they also stick their tongues out to appear as though they are dead. They do this in order to make their predators feel as though they are already dead and will move on. While it works sometimes, other times it doesn't and they become victims but not without putting up a good fight.
Their diet consists of mice, worms, snakes, insects, and birds. They also like to eat chickens. A possum can be found going through trash cans and dumpsters as well as roadkill from time to time. Possums eat grass, fruits, and nuts too.
The female possum will give birth to babies that are very tiny at birth. As soon as they are born, they will crawl into the pouch of their mother where they will stay until they develop. As they grow, they will travel in and out of the mother's pouch. They will also be seen riding on mom's back while hunting for food. A litter of babies can contain up to 20 at one time but not all of them survive, especially if they don't make it inside the pouch. A baby possum will stay with its mother for a little over three months before it ventures out on its own. A baby possum is called a Joey. A typical lifespan of a possum is up to two years. During their time with mother, they will learn the basic skills to help them to survive on their own.
Opossums are well known for climbing up trees and because they have sharp claws, they can pull themselves right on up with a strong grip. Opossums will make their dens inside a tree hole if possible, but they will also hang around wet areas such as streams and marshes.
Opossums like to roam around in the nighttime and sleep during the day. They spend all night searching for food. When cooler temperatures set in and the snow starts to fall, opossums do not hibernate, but they do slow down some. They like to sleep inside of burrows they pack with dry leaves. They have fat reserves that will help keep them warm during the cold season. In the summertime, they keep cool by licking themselves. If a baby possum shows up in your yard, don't worry too much about it as it is probably just moving on past your home in search of food. They do not cause too many problems, in fact, they can be very beneficial if you have an issue with ticks and other insects around your home.