Opossum are possessive about their habitats. They live in dens and usually they take other animal's nests to dwell, but in winter, when opossum are active in the daytime they make their own rough nest where the mother opossum nest her babies for some time. Yesterday I was wandering alone behind my garden and I found a nest of baby opossums. I really don’t know what to do with this lone nest, therefore I contacted a nearby wildlife office. The officer guided me in this perspective which I am sharing with you.
Baby opossums need their mother after birth as their eyes are closed and they are helpless without their mother. When they are more than half pound in weight, they are ready to leave their mother. The mother usually carries her babies on the back or in her pouch, but it may happen that for some reason she has to leave the infants alone. The officer told me that baby opossum are attached to her mother’s nipples until 2-3 weeks of age. After that they leave the nipple and start crawling around. I got to know that human odor doesn’t interfere with the survival of baby possums. I found 8 opossum in the nest however, it is possible for 13 opossum to me more at a time. I put them into a carrier to keep them safe and transferred them to a rehabilitator. I designed a special carrier for them. I took a small box and made air holes in the cover for proper ventilation. Then, as instructed by the officer I filled the box with dusting cloth and put the young opossum gently in the box. I made sure that the box remained closed by fastening a string around it.
The babies were cold so they needed prompt warmth to survive in their habitat, I filled white rice in a fabric bag and warmed it in the microwave, but remembered to tie a knot on the fabric bag. I kept the bag in the box, and was cautious while warming the sock as it should not be at the temperature that would harm the babies. The babies straightaway crawled towards the warmth. A handy heating pad was then gently placed underneath the duster in the box.
Feeding baby opossum needs strategies as timetables should be maintained to feed them and they should be kept safe from dehydration. For this, I handed over the box to the officer. Baby opossums are delicate creatures and need special care. They will not survive with mishandling so if you find a nest of solitary baby opossum, don’t wait to inform the nearest rehabilitation service.
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