September 18, 2022

Do Possums Leave Their Babies? The Surprising Answer

If you've ever seen an opossum in the wild, you may have wondered if they leave their babies behind when they go off to forage for food. The answer is actually no – opossums are very dedicated parents, and they take care of baby opossums until they are able to fend for themselves. In this blog post, we will discuss the parental habits of opossums and what happens to their babies when they are born.

What do opossums look like?

Opossums are often mistaken for rats, but they are actually members of the marsupial family. They are about the size of a house cat, with a long nose and pointy ears. Their fur is usually gray or brown, and they usually have lighter fur on their faces and stomachs. Opossums are good climbers, and they have long tails that help them balance.

Although they are not considered to be dangerous animals, opossums can be a nuisance if you try to feed outdoor cats, as they will eat that. If you see an opossum in your yard, it is best to leave it alone and let it move on its way.

Where do opossums live in the United States?

Opossums are interesting creatures that are found throughout the United States. They are the only marsupial in North America, and they are known for their prehensile tails and opposable thumbs. Opossums are also nocturnal animals, so they are rarely seen during the day.

They typically live in trees or dens that they have built themselves, but they will also take up residence in abandoned houses or cars if necessary. While opossums are most commonly found in forests or wooded areas, they can also be found in urban environments. In fact, it is not uncommon to see an opossum rummaging through a garbage can in search of food. Wherever they live, opossums play an important role in the ecosystem by helping to control the population of mice and other small rodents.

What do baby opossums look like?

Baby opossums are actually quite cute, in a strange sort of way. They have long, thin bodies and their fur is typically gray or brown. They have pointy noses and small ears, and their tails are prehensile, meaning they can grip things with them. Baby opossums typically weigh between 5 and 8 ounces at birth.

Are opossums blind or deaf?

They are born blind and deaf, and are totally dependent on their mother for the first few weeks of life. After about a month, they start to develop their own eyesight and hearing, and they begin to explore the world on their own. However, they remain with their mother until they are 6 to 7 months old. After that, they strike out on their own and start to build their own lives.

When do opossums have babies?

The Virginia opossum can have babies all year round, but they usually have babies from February to October. Opossum species typically give birth in late spring or early summer, with litters consisting of anywhere from two to 12 joeys. The joeys are born blind and deaf, and they remain inside their mother's pouch for several months as they continue to develop. Once they are ready to venture out into the world, they will stay close to their mother for several more months before becoming fully independent. Other animals will prey on baby possums, so they stick close until they're old enough.

How to tell if an opossum is living in your backyard or attic

Many people are surprised to learn that opossums are frequent visitors to backyards and attics. These nocturnal creatures are typically shy and non-confrontational, but they will take up residence in an area if it provides food and shelter.

So, how can you tell if an opossum is living in your backyard or attic? Well, let's be honest: They're slow and goofy looking. So take a look! They won't hurt you. Poke around in your attic and see if there's anything up there. In your backyard, set up a trail camera, or just keep your eyes peeled around dusk and dawn for critters.

What to do if you find a baby opossum in your yard

It's not uncommon to find a baby opossum in your yard. If you do, there are a few things you can do to help. First, make sure the opossum is really a baby. If it is, it will be about the size of a tennis ball and will have no fur. These are considered orphaned baby opossums and they will need care from a wildlife rehabilitator.

It's harder to tell with young opossums. The rule of thumb is 7 inches: if the young opossum is bigger than 7 inches, it's totally fine to be on its own. If the young opossum is smaller than that, it may be time to call a wildlife rehabilitator.

If you're not sure it's an orphaned opossum, get in contact with a wildlife rehabilitator. Because they frequently deal with orphaned opossums, wildlife rehabilitators will be able to tell if the "orphaned opossums" you've found actually need help. In the mean time, you can provide a bit of kitten chow moistened with water.

Is the mother opossum around?

If the mother opossum is present, leave the young opossums where they are. Mother opossums are very protective of their babies. If you can't see the mother, gently pick up the opossum and put it in a box or carrier. Then, call your local wildlife rehabilitation center and they will take care of the rest. Helping an orphaned opossum is a rewarding experience and gives these fascinating creatures a second chance at life.

Helping an injured opossum

If it is an adult, it will be much larger and will have fur. An injured opossum will be "playing possum" - be slow, lethargic, and unafraid of humans. Adult opossums can also be injured. Opossum injuries frequently happen because of car strikes, many predators, and more. While these are not orphaned opossums, they may still require the skilled care of a wildlife rehabilitator.

The benefits of having an opossum living near your house

Opossums are often considered pests, but did you know that these furry marsupials can actually be beneficial to have around? For one thing, opossums are excellent recyclers. They will eat just about anything, from insects and slugs to garbage and carrion. This means that they can help to clean up your yard and reduce the population of disease-carrying pests. Opossums LOVE ticks, so having an opossum around means less disease-causing ticks in your yard.

In addition, opossums are immune to the venom of most snakes, including rattlesnakes and copperheads. How cool is that? Finally, opossums are gentle creatures and are very unlikely to attack humans or pets. So, if you're looking for a friendly neighbor, an opossum might be the perfect choice!

Final thoughts about opossum babies, injuries, and wildlife rehabilitators

We hope that this article has helped to answer some of your questions about opossums. These unique creatures are interesting and often misunderstood. If you find an opossum in your yard, make sure to take the time to learn more about them before taking any action. And, if you ever have the chance, we encourage you to help wildlife rehabilitation efforts in your community.

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