SO, since I became the caretaker of a virginiana didelphis (opossum for you rednecks) named Pollo, i've been amazed at the lack of information people have about an animal native to their back yards!
So, i'm encouraging you all to ask me about opossums. Anything, really! I'll answer with what I know.
First, a few ultra-basics:
They're marsupials, closely related to koalas. They are not rats, or rodent-like.
They have very bad eyesight.
They do not carry rabies, their body temperature is too low- even when exposed, the virus dies off.
They do not carry any known diseases that can infect humans, although their bites are prone to becoming infected.
They bite only very rarely, and always a result of doing something really stupid, like outright hurting them.
They can be tamed with amazing ease. (Not reccomended)
They have a true omnivorous diet, eating small rodents, lizards, insects, bird eggs, fruit, vegetables, and carrion when nothing else is available.
They do not sleep upside down.
They cannot suspend themselves by their tail for long, especially as they get older.
They do not have sex through the nose.
They do have opposeable thumbs.
They are intelligent.
They are naturally potty-trainable.
It is illegal to own one as a pet without a wildlife rehabilitator's license, and should always be released to the wild when possible.
Several states have a 'kill-on-sight' vermin extermination order for opossums, because they may carry a bacteria which can make horses sick if the horse ingests the opossum's faeces.
Opossums are very clean, spending as much time cleaning as cats (or more, depending on the cat)
Opossums are extremely quiet animals, typically making no noise at all- they may hiss or growl when upset.
Alright. That covers all the stuff you should already know. Now, ask me some tough ones!
5 years, 5 months ago
18 May 2013 07:03 CEST