Can I raise a baby possum?

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Many opossums become orphaned after the mother is killed. These opossums must be raised by wildlife rehabilitators. However, many juvenile opossums brought to wildlife rehabilitators are not “true” orphans in need of care. They may be young juveniles on their own for the first time.

Similarly one may ask, can baby opossums survive on their own?

If YES, contact your nearest wildlife veterinarian or rehabilitator. If NO, opossums that are at least 8 inches long from tip of nose to the base of the tail (do not include the tail) and weigh more than 7.25 ounces or 200 grams are old enough to survive on their own in the wild and do not need human intervention.

Also Know, what does a baby possum eat? The possum menu consists of dead animals, insects, rodents and birds. They also feed on eggs, frogs, plants, fruits and grain. A little known fact about a possum's diet is their need for high amounts of calcium. Due to this fact, possums readily eat the skeletal remains of rodents and other roadkill animals.

One may also ask, how can you tell how old a baby possum is?

Check to see if the opossum's eyes have opened. A kit will generally open its eyes when it is 55 to 70 days old. A opossum with open eyes is likely to be at least 70 days old. Note if the opossum is still drinking its mother's milk, if you are observing it in the wild.

Do baby possums carry diseases?

Opossums carry diseases such as leptospirosis, tuberculosis, relapsing fever, tularemia, spotted fever, toxoplasmosis, coccidiosis, trichomoniasis, and Chagas disease. They may also be infested with fleas, ticks, mites, and lice. Opossums are hosts for cat and dog fleas, especially in urban environments.

36 Related Question Answers Found

What do you do if you find a baby possum?

Seek immediate assistance. Contact your local Opossum Society of the United States member, state department of wildlife, veterinarian, wildlife rehabilitator or animal control. Make sure animal control will not euthanize all opossums.

How do you tame a baby possum?

Tame a Pet Opossum. Start by sticking your hand into the cage or enclosure where you keep the pet opossum. Initially, the opossum will open its mouth, bare its teeth and possibly make a snorting sound. While this may seem like an attack stance, opossums usually only bite if you corner them or grab at them.

What is the difference between a possum and an opossum?

A possum is a type of marsupial, native to Australasia. The official name for this species of marsupial is Phalangeriformes, but the common name possums has entered into modern usage. An opossum is also a type of marsupial, but one that is native to the Americas, from the order Didelphimorphia.

How do you save a baby possum?

Help for Baby Opossums
  2. Place the box in a warm, dark, quiet area away from people and pets.
  3. If the opossum's eyes have not opened yet, please get it to a licensed rehabilitator as soon as possible.

Will baby possums bite?

Even in baby opossums we see this defense mechanism, although we're so used to it that it is less than intimidating to us anymore. If pushed, cornered, poked, prodded, the opossum WILL bite, but it will never run after you, chase you, come towards you in an attacking way.

Can you touch a wild possum?

If your touch an opossum with your bare hands, chances are that it might bite you and you could get infected with numerous serious diseases, rabies being one of them. Instead of touching an opossum with bare hands, you should consider wearing a pair of thick gloves, or better yet, not touch the animal at all.

Are baby possums dangerous?

While they are mostly docile, aloof and rarely dangerous, opossums can attack if they feel threatened, biting back and posing a threat to house pets. Opossums can, however, carry other diseases like tularemia, tuberculosis, spotted fever and toxoplasmosis.

Do baby opossums bite?

Do opossums bite? Opossums are more likely to growl, hiss and show their 50 sharp teeth than to bite. They are a relatively placid animal and like to avoid confrontation at all costs. However, if cornered they do have the ability to bite.

Can you keep a baby possum as a pet?

It's illegal to keep them without a wildlife rehabilitation permit, though, and once they're old enough to survive on their own, healthy possums can, and should, be released. They're wild animals who don't fare well often in captivity. Trying to transform a possum into a pet can be expensive and heartbreaking.

What can I feed my pet possum?

Offer captive opossums a balanced diet consisting of small amounts of a formulated diet (omnivore diet or low fat/low calorie cat food) supplemented with vegetables, small amounts of fruit (10-20% of the diet), and occasional (once or twice weekly) protein sources.

How often do you feed baby possums?

68-76 days: several cc's every 4 hrs. After they are all fed, offer them food again. When full, they will stop fussing and settle down. As they start on solid food, baby food fruit or mashed fruit may be added to cereal; but fruit should never exceed 10% of diet.

How small are baby possums?

Opossums have a pregnancy that is remarkably short. Their babies are born only 11-13 days after they mate. At such a tender age, these babies are little more than embryos – no bigger than a bumble bee. A baby opossum's weight at birth is a bit more than one tenth of a gram (0.13grams - the same as 4-5 grains of rice).

Can possums eat cheese?

Their food can be supplemented with small amounts of fruits and vegetables. Do not feed possums almonds, cheese, onions, dairy products, green potatoes or junk food. Possums need fresh water daily.

Why do possums only live 2 years?

The opossum has an average lifespan of 1 to 2 years. This short lifespan is due in part to the presence of many predators including dogs, cats and people. The opossum has many interesting features. It has 50 teeth, more than any North American land mammal.

How do you tell if a possum is a boy or girl?

In addition to size differences, you can tell a male apart from a female by the color of the male's chest hair. Males have a skin gland used for chemical communication that stains the chest fur yellow. Females have a fur-lined pouch for raising and carrying infants.

What are baby opossums called?

Even the best swimmers can overestimate their ability, opossum or not. And, finally, a bonus for the Scrabble players: Male opossums are called jacks and females are called jills. The young are referred to as joeys, just like their Australian cousins, and a group of opossums is called a passel.