A Pair Of ‘Possums

One evening last week, I got a call from a man about two opossum babies that he and his wife had rescued. The caller did not give many details about the situation – only that the mother had been killed and these two were now without a mother. Since FD and I had taken our nephew Sid, from Nebraska, fishing that evening and we were not too far from the location of the man calling, we decided to pick up the two little opossums on our way home. Upon meeting the man and his wife, we could see that, like most people who find orphaned or injured critters, they were concerned and wanted the best for the two opossum “joeys” (technical name for baby marsupials). And it always makes me feel good to meet like-minded people who are animal lovers.

On the way home Sid, held one baby while I took the other, using our own body heat to keep them warm. FD also adjusted the air conditioning in the truck so they wouldn’t get too chilled on the way home. As much as I would have liked to raise these two opossums, I knew it would be overload for me at this point in the summer. Sid and I had plans to fish every day that week, and FD would join us most evenings (can you tell Sid loves to fish?), so I knew there would be no way to manage time for feedings every three to four hours as these two would require. Even though they appeared to be around nine weeks old already, and would likely not be too much trouble to feed over the next couple of weeks, I still had plenty to do to manage caring for Ronnie and Emma deer, seeing to the needs of my two elderly dogs, harvesting my gardens, watering, weeding, and mowing.

With all this going on, it would be late afternoon the next day before we could take the two female joeys to Wildcare, a larger facility near Oklahoma City where they could be with other orphaned opossums, get the care and attention they needed, and learn the ropes of being opossums. So, that morning and again in the afternoon, Sid and I took care of feeding these two to get them by until we could transport them to Wildcare. Fortunately, I had some squirrel milk replacement formula on hand which can also be used for opossums. Feeding them was a breeze since they were old enough to lap their milk and did not require nursing with syringes.

And, while I had an easy time of helping my little ‘possum to potty by gently rubbing the genital area with a wet wipe, Sid had a slight bit of trouble with its sibling. Apparently, his  little charge wanted to play. The wet wipe became a prop similar to what a rope dancer would use in a Cirque du Soleil performance. Sid never could get his ‘possum to let loose of that wet wipe! And, just when I was bragging about how well-behaved my opossum was, she bit me on the finger! I had not even thought about the little buggers having teeth already!

That evening, we dropped the pair off at Wildcare, and I felt a bit of regret at having made the decision not to keep them. They were cute as could be and really quite comical. They were old enough to be easily cared for, and would be ready for release before winter arrives. But I also knew something had to give on my end before I could commit to another wildlife rescue task. Life presents us with many decisions like this and, hopefully, our choices help strike a good balance of everything. I know I will have other opportunities for opossums when I have the time to give them appropriate care. For now, I am thankful for the twenty-two hours we had with this pair of ‘possums, and that Sid got a taste of wildlife rehabilitation.

© 2016 Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…


30 thoughts on “A Pair Of ‘Possums

  1. You are full of surprises this week, Lori! I love the videos of feeding time. ❤ I hope you intend to do this format more often now. Pretty please

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    1. FD and I think the world of Sid and his sister Emily. They really enjoy coming to Oklahoma. Another niece and nephew from Wichita have also visited this year… we don’t have a big family and it’s a good distance for any of us to drive so we really appreciate that those kids want to come see us! FD and I will do more visits to Texas and Nebraska to see family when some of our animal responsibilities let up. I’m looking forward to that!

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  2. Love the vid of the those cute little buggers drinking milk. So dang cute. You’ve been taking great videos. Love them. It’s probably a good thing that you didn’t strap yourself down with two more charges to feed and care for. It does turn into work.

    Ah yes the possums. My son and I raised one but it was ready to eat solid food when he was found. My son turned him loose in out yard and he lived about the property for some time before moving on. My husband then began calling our son Possum and that nickname has stuck with him.

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    1. Ha ha! Hilarious about the nickname! I have heard opossums are great to raise, but I also read somewhere that cleaning up after them is a bit of work. I guess like raccoons they can be very messy. I will have a whirl at raising some one day. We seem to get a lot of calls about opossums. In this case, the couple both worked outside of their home and couldn’t get away to take the babies to Wildcare. We were taking Sid shopping in OKC that week, so we decided to make a side trip to Wildcare and deliver these two. It worked out perfectly!

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    1. We have family in Nebraska, Kansas, and Texas that are so good to come visit. If our animal work ever lets up, we may get to travel more again. Meanwhile, it’s wonderful to have these young people come and spend a week or a few days.

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  3. You made the right decision – I don’t know how you keep up with everything you have going on. What a great experience for Sid – he certainly got a taste of the farm life. Those opossums were adorable.

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    1. Opossums are sweet. I don’t know why people think they are ugly. I think that they hiss, and show their teeth to protect themselves is what people fear of them. They’re really interesting critters. From time to time I see them in our woodlands… although I fear the last ones were taken out by the neighbors dogs when they were killing everything in the woods. We still do not see much of wildlife here as the neighbors dogs are still a nuisance with all the noise they make.

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    1. Ha ha! My thoughts exactly, Audrey! We saw some other interesting wildlife while he was here. I’ll be posting about that soon too! Goodness… if only I could just write all day long! 😀

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  4. You did make the right decision Lori. Those two remind me of the baby squirrels we raised when I was little. Very cute. Just as an added bit of trivia… Australians sometimes call each other ‘possum’ as a term of endearment. In particular, the comedian, Dame Edna (aka: Barry Humphries) often calls the audience ‘possums’. xx

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    1. Ha ha! Well I can agree with the endearment part Ardys… it was easy to fall in love with those two cuties! They were both female. I think it would have been a lot of fun to raise them, but I know that I did the right thing.

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  5. Oh how precious they are, Lori! I love these feeding videos in your last two posts — I’d love to see more videos of your interactions with some of the wildlife on the ranch. It almost made me feel like I was right there with you!

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    1. Thanks, Kim! The iPhone makes it easy for me to take video, and between YouTube and WordPress, it’s a snap to post! I’m impressed with the audio on the iPhone too.

      These opossums were just too cute. And they make the funniest little hissing noise. Wildcare calls it the “anti-human” noise!

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    1. Thank you, Tom. I know one day the time will be right for us to take in some opossums. For now, these two will take up company with other orphaned opossums and they’ll have a great time playing!

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    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the videos, Margaret. I’m trying to do more video this year, since the iPhone makes it easy for me, and loading to YouTube and then WordPress is really quite simple. Those two cuties were difficult to give up. They would have been at a great age to take on – not so much work with feeding.

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  6. What funny little creatures and I certainly enjoyed the video! I heard your accent in a more recent post, but I have to say again how cute it sounds. I do think you already had plenty of work to do. Your decision to take them to Wildcare sounded wise. Having said that, I hope you get another opportunity one day when life is less hectic so I can take pleasure in their amusing antics. You are a natural carer, Lori. A wonderful Mumma to your critter babies. Sound like those teeth are sharp! 🙂

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    1. Thank you, Jane. I think when that opossum bit me I was having flashbacks of the time Punkin the squirrel bit my thumb. I think was more that thumbs and pecans are shaped much the same and Buddy the squirrel was approaching. Punkin just bit into my thumb hoping to snag the pecan before he did! It hurt bad and drew blood for quite a while. I am much more careful, usually, but wasn’t paying attention to my opossum. I was watching Sid’s opossum and just didn’t look to see what mine was up to! Live and learn! Ha ha!

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