Opossums, or possums, are unique wildlife animals. In the 1600's, opossums were recorded as an animal that "has a head like a swine, a tail like a rat and a bigness like a cat". They are part of the marsupial family which grows the size of a house cat. These small animals are particularly located in the Southern United States and in the Midwest.
Some characteristics of opossums are well known. If they feel threatened, they will actually play dead by mimicking the appearance and smell of a sick or dead animal. They have strong tails which can help them hang from tree limbs and carry bundles of materials they need. A female opossum has the reproductive organs which includes a vagina, uterus and a marsupuim which is her pouch.
Opossums definitely don't make good pets; however, they do have good tendencies. These wildlife animals control the snake population, whether venomous or non. They actually are totally immune to the venom produced by rattlesnakes, cottonmouths, copperheads and others. Opossums can also be pest control animals by consuming insects, slugs, birds, frogs, plants, fruits, and rodents. They keep rats and roaches away by killing them so their food is not diminished.
The female opossum breeds two or three times a year. Baby opossums remains in their mother's pouch until they are a couple months old. When they reach the age of two to four months, they ride on their mother's back because they are still dependent on her for their care.
Unfortunately, baby opossums can get separated from it's mother. The most common reason is that she was hit by a car with the baby nearby or even still in her pouch. If you see an opossum killed, check to verify if there's a baby near. If so, contact a wildlife veterinarian or rehabilitation nearest to you. Remember, opossums do NOT make good pets; however, the baby opossum should be saved.
Opossums can take up residence on your property and as long as there is a good food source nearby, they will not depart. If you happen to see an opossum hanging around your property uninvited, give Elite Wildlife Removal a call at 804-867-7184. Our friendly staff will be more than happy to work with you regarding your wildlife needs.