The advice on this website is meant to be information that you can use at your own discretion. Please call us if you still have questions or have any other concerns. View the full disclaimer. If you feed the squirrel, only give it pedialyte. Is it sick, disabled or injured? Is it a stunned adult?
- If you feed the opossum, only give it pedialyte.
- Is it injured, sick or a baby? Is it trapped in a dumpster or hole? Is it a dead mom with babies in the pouch?
- Is it an oprhan? Many wildlife parents leave their young alone during the day, sometimes for long periods. If the babies are still dependent, the mother is usually nearby, discreetly keeping an eye on them. Unless they appear injured or in distress, there may be no need to rescue them.
- Opossums will hiss or growl and show their 50 sharp teeth when frightened; but, in reality, they are gentle and placid— they prefer to avoid all confrontations and wish to be left alone. They are usually slow moving; when frightened and unable to flee, they may fall into an involuntary shock-like state, “playing ‘possum”.
- Description: The Virginia Opossum is North America’s only marsupial mammal (female has a pouch). The female carries and nurses her young in her marsupium until they are about 2 to 3 months old; then they are carried on her back another 1 to 2 months whenever they are away from the den.
- Opossums are approximately the size of a cat. They have grey to black fur; black eyes; pink nose, feet and tail; black ears; and a pointed nose.
- One of the shortest lived mammals for its size, an opossum lives approximately 2 to 4 years. They are killed by many predators: humans (and cars), dogs, cats, owls, and larger wildlife.
- Diet: Opossums are omnivorous: they eat insects, snails, rodents, berries, over-ripe fruit, grasses, leaves, and carrion; occasionally they also eat snakes, ground eggs, corn or other vegetables.
- Habitat: These solitary and nocturnal animals are able to live wherever water, food, and shelter exist. At home in trees; an opossum uses its prehensile tail to help stabilize position when climbing— it does not, however, hang by its tail.
- At Dusk, Put the Container Where the Baby was Found: Be sure that the baby is in a container tall enough that it cannot climb out, but shallow enough for the mom to get in. If you are worried about predators, you can tape a single sheet of newspaper over the box – the mom will tear through it.
- Leave the Immediate Area: Mom won’t approach her babies if there are people or animals around. Keep people away, make sure that the baby stays warm and leave it out all night.
- If Mom Doesn’t Show Up: it’s time to take action. Perhaps mom was killed, sick or there is something wrong with the baby that you just can’t see. Contact us at 904-779-5569.