Leonard joined the RWS ambassador team in the summer of 2023 as a baby after a predator or littermateleft him missing the majority of his tail. Opossums have prehensile tails, which are extremely important to help them climb and balance. It's essentially a fifth leg! Since their tails are so essential to their way of life, Leonard would not have been able to survive without it in the wild. Leonard is a wonderful ambassador who likes the easy life here at Rockfish Wildlife Sanctuary. His favorite pastimes are lounging in his hammock and munching on any snacks our rehabilitators provide (he’s not a picky eater). He's even adapted well to harness training for educational programming! We think he looks pretty smart in red.
Opossums are North America's only marsupial. These pouched mamas might have up to 13 babies to care for at a time. We care for up to 200 orphaned opossum patients every single year, and most of them come to us after their mother was hit by a car. Babies may survive the initial impact in mom's pouch, and good samaritans stop to check pouches on fresh-looking opossums. We are grateful to those who stop their day to look out for native wildlife! That way, orphaned baby opossums get a second chance at living in the wild, where they'll help control pest populations and disperse native seeds.