What Should I Do If I Find an Orphaned Baby Opossum?
If a baby possum is found wandering alone that means it is not an infant and has grown more than seven weeks with a size of about 8 inches.
- Check with a soft brush for any bleeding or injury
- Rub with a soft cloth to remove any injurious stains
- Place the baby in the shade and wait for the night for its nocturnal activity
- It is not recommended to take this wandering mammal directly to the rehabilitation, as they get confused by the rush of population.
- Why is the possum wandering alone?
- The baby fell out of the pouch.
- The mother is unable to care for the baby and left the baby alone.
- The mother is dead and the babies are wandering on their own.
If you see a baby opossum roving around, anywhere, you have to determine initially whether it needs a rescue or not. For a healthy looking young one, try to figure out the size and weight as it is possible that the baby opossum is now free to explore the world on its own. However, if the baby opossum is traumatized by some means or attacked by a hunter, then transfer the young marsupial to a Native Animal Rescue with extra precautionary measures. If you find a wandering orphan possum you have to adopt certain precautionary measures to handle them; these involve:
- Wear gloves while handling opossums
- Warm a cloth to a lukewarm temperature sensation and place it in a box with air holes in the lid for easy breathing
- Hold the baby by the scruff of the neck and keep it in the prepared box
- Keep the box closed so the mammal cannot escape
- Transfer the box to the local animal rescue department
- Beware that if the possum is injured then don’t hold, feed, or transport him
The wildlife rehabilitation center may transmit diseases among animals. It is good that individual personnel take the responsibility of raising young possum to minimize the stress on the creature as well as the spread of diseases.
Check the dehydration status of the animal. If it seems that the animal has not taken fluid for a long time, then it is better to hydrate them with water, 1 teaspoon of sugar and one third of a teaspoon of salt solutions. Remember, rehydrating procedures should be done on only those possum whose body temperature is normal; a sub-normal body temperature is not suitable for hydration. First provide warmth to the mammal and then hydrate it. Feeding a baby possum requires skill and knowledge, therefore, consult the rehabilitator or trained individual on how to feed them if you have decided to take care of the possum yourself.
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