Injured or Sick Marsupials

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Injured or Sick Marsupials

Opossum with baby

Virginia Opossums

Virginia Opossums are the only native marsupial to the United States. They naturally have a lower body temperature, so they are not prone to rabies or other diseases prevalent in mammals. They are great at eating pests such as ticks and cockroaches, and should be a welcomed addition to any yard.

Their primary defense mechanism is freezing in place while displaying their teeth and drooling. They do not attack while doing this; However, vehicle strikes are prevalent in this species, because this defense does not scare cars. Mother opossums carry young in their pouch. If you see a deceased opossum on the side of the road, check the pouch for movement. Oftentimes, the babies can be saved by being removed from the pouch and raised at a wildlife rehabilitation center even if the mom is deceased.

Although opossums don’t often attack, they still have teeth and the safest way to handle them is to pick them up using a towel or blanket.

To Capture:
Gently throw a towel over them aiming for the face and mouth. Although opossums are often very docile, their teeth can cause damage so always be aware of where the mouth is and use a towel to cover that part of the body. Once covered, grab the animal by the base of the tail (while avoiding the head region) and put it inside an escape proof box. Make sure there are air holes for the animal to breathe. 

Once you have the animal secured inside the box, place it in a dark quiet place and leave it alone until it can be transported. DO NOT FEED or offer water to the animal unless you have spoken to a rehabilitator.

Orphaned Marsupials

Mothers keep young marsupials in their pouch and on their back until they are old enough to survive on their own. If you find a young opossum that is less than seven inches from the tip of its nose to the base of its tail, please contact Alaqua as they are too young to survive on their own.

Direct Line: (850) 880-6697
After Hours:  (850) 332-4837
*We are on call 24/7.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Wildlife Hotline:  1-888-404-3922

7 days/week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

914 Whitfield Road
Freeport, FL 32439
*Please call upon your arrival