Coexisting with Wildlife: Opossums
What to do if you find:
Injured Adult Opossum
- Cover with a towel. Put the animal in a box or crate while wearing gloves or protection.
- Do not feed or give it water.
- Bring the animal into a licensed rehabber as soon as possible.
- Put the animal in a box and keep it warm. If placed on a heating pad, place 1/2 of the container on the heat source the other 1/2 off, babies can overheat and die, give them something to hide under such as a t-shirt.
- Place it in a quiet dark room.
- Do not feed.
- Do not give it cow's milk.
Food & Water
Do not feed opossums. They need special diets and their conditions can worsen when fed improperly.
Coexisting with Opossums:
Opossums are often mistaken for rats. They are not rodents, they are marsupials. They are not aggressive toward humans or pets but they will attempt to defend themselves if cornered. They are relatively disease free. They do not carry Parvo virus, distemper or rabies. They are actually an excellent animal to have around your property because they eat rats, mice, snails, slugs and insects. They also eat over ripe fruit that has fallen to the ground. They are called "omnivores" because they meat as well as vegetables and fruit.
Opossums are nest builders. They are also nocturnal. They spend much of the day in their dens. At night, they forage for food. They are excellent climbers using all their hands, feet and tail to grasp.