Preparing for wild babies…

Yesterday we admitted our first wild babies of 2015. For these little ones though we have almost no worries. Why? Because we admitted them while they were safely tucked into their mother’s pouch.

About ten days ago, a kind woman, Wendy, was driving back to her home in Eureka when she saw an all too familiar sight – an opossum (Didelphis virginiana) lying in the middle of the road.

Wendy pulled over to move the opossum. “I think it’s an insult to leave them to bloat right where they’ve been run down,” she explained. “I always move them off to the side, into the bushes.”

But this ‘possum wasn’t dead. She was twitching. So Wendy scooped her up to take her someplace where she could die in peace, back at her place, away from the busy road.

But the opossum didn’t die. In fact, she seemed to be waking up. So Wendy gave her some cat food. And after ten days, she realized that she couldn’t actually provide the care the little marsupial required so she found us.

Of course we were concerned that the young female had been badly injured. It was easy to imagine a pelvic fracture, a broken leg, or some other injury that might render her unreleasable. And at this time of year, we of course were concerned that she might have babies in her pouch.

Well, upon examination, her injuries were minimal, the worst being a fractured jaw. However the fracture is healing and she’s able to chew and feed herself. And yes, she has a pouch full of very young babies.

As it happens we’ve just completed a new addition to our facility, an improved opossum house (we call it the Opossumary).

Designed by staff and built by our dedicated volunteers (many of whom are college students learning to use power tools for the first time!) our new housing for opossums will be sent on its maiden voyage with this young mother and her babies at the helm.

While this opossum family was relatively lucky, many are not. The number one mammal that we treat at our Bayside clinic is the Virginia Opossum. Most of these patients are babies whose mothers died when they were hit by a car. Please! – the damage people do with their cars is already more than our ecosystem can take. Drive carefully, drive like we share the world. And if you find a wild animal in trouble call us. We can help.

And as always, thanks to our supporters who make it possible for us to provide quality care for injured and orphaned wildlife. Your support gives wild neighbors like these a second chance. If you have the means, a financial contribution goes a long way for us. (you can use donate button at top of page)

Scroll down for photographs of our recently added opossum housing! Your support and our use of recycled materials makes these improvements possible! Thanks!