Wildlife Photograph - Holding an opossum by the tail


Holding an opossum by the tail


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An Opossum’s Tail - Some of you might be wondering that I can’t get enough of saying how much I love animals and how I just can’t stand to see them suffer. Why then, would I be holding an opossum by its tail, especially when some animals like cats are extremely sensitive if anyone so much as touches their tails? Well, opossums are not as touchy as cats are about their tails. In fact, their tails are so strong that they can hang upside with them much like monkeys, although it is rare to see one do that. There is a term ‘prehensile’ used for strong tails and opossums are blessed to have one of those.

Opossum tails are basically meant to grab hold of things that might be at a distance from them, kind of like a frog’s tongue. They even have the ability to curl up their tail. In short, the way you see me holding this opossum is not hurting him one bit, because if it were, this peaceful looking critter would have given me at least one scratch by now. I should, however, give this one credit for being very timid and friendly. Not all opossums are as welcoming and okay with a human holding them as he is. Holding them by the tail actually makes it easy to handle them and is the safest way to do it as well. If you try grabbing them any other way, chances are you will end up with a not so friendly opossum bite.

Long story short, I caught this opossum inside a house in the usual opossum hangout room – the attic. Although I had a trap with me, I did not need to use it on this one because he was sitting right in front and was not even remotely resistant when I caught hold of his tail.