Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana)

Andy arrived at RWS in late 2020, having been found and illegally raised by a person who did not have a rehabilitation license. As a result, Andy was far too habituated to people to be released. Andy's story serves as a good reminder that only trained and permitted rehabilitators should care for wild animals in need of help.

Opossums like Andy are the only marsupials in North America. (Possums without an “o” are found in Australasia.) These scrappy mammals keep their young in a pouch on their belly as they grow, and if you’re lucky, you may catch a mama opossum bussing her many “joeys” around on her back in the springtime. Opossums are excellent climbers and use their opposable thumbs and prehensile tails to easily scoot up trees away from predators. They are omnivorous and opportunistic eaters. In fact, an opossum’s favorite snack is a tick! One opossum can eat 5,000 ticks per summer, so they make wonderful neighbors and help keep us safe from tick-borne illness.
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