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Old 10-02-2013, 09:20 AM
 
624 posts, read 810,093 times
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I am a New Yorker transplanted in SC. I had only rarely seen opossums in my home state, so I just thought it was cool when I caught a glimpse of one and most people seemed to agree. Down here, people seem to really hate them and/or fear them, even if they haven't had any problems or damage from an unwelcome visitor.

I tend to stay up late, sitting outside with my laptop, and have had many interesting exchanges with local opossums, who I have found to be friendly, live-and-let-live creatures. I have a couple of regular visitors every year, and have even been able to pet and hand feed some of them. Since they are so genetically dissimilar to other mammals, it's exceedingly rare that they contract rabies. I just wash my hands well after interacting with them. They certainly keep the cockroach problem at bay. My dog loves her opossum buddies, and has been known to even play with them a bit. I've even seen her share a plate of dog food with one. I know any wild animal can be trouble to humans, but I really feel opossums get an unfairly bad rap.

I have tried to educate my neighbors about the virtues of the opossum and that they would rather do just about anything than bite, but still many try to poison or lethally trap them. Some don't like them just because they think they're ugly.

Have you had positive experiences with opossums? Do you find a lot of prejudice against them?
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Old 10-02-2013, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Yellow cottage, green doors.
16,441 posts, read 13,543,340 times
Reputation: 72619
Your post catches me by surprise because it is the truth that people just do not seem to get. I greatly admire your feelings and observations of those beautiful animals!
I love the o'possums! How wonderful they are! And they are, indeed, beautiful!
I have seen them in New York and I have seen them here in south Florida.
One day I was outside, sitting on my porch, and suddenly I heard a loud thump as I saw an o'possum fall from high out of a tree in my front yard! It lay there for several seconds and then scurried of - limping rather badly as it went under a parked car and then headed off into the neighbor's yards. I think it was hurt and I felt so bad for it.
Another time my wife, mrsrainroosty, had gone to the trash can and an o'possum was stuck in the bottom of it so she gently turned the can on it's side to see the o'possum dash off to freedom! Yaaayyy!

It is refreshing to hear what you have posted and I thank you!

~rainroosty~
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Old 10-02-2013, 10:58 AM
 
Location: Kanada (*v*)
121,041 posts, read 14,885,169 times
Reputation: 62035
Before we moved here in the new suburbs we lived in a house that had a big back garden. So we always encountered animals including the opossum. For me it was a new name and a new animal,I never encountered before. The guessing game started with my family til one of my kids checked on the computer . I remember one early morning when I cleaned our basement recreation room and I wanted to open the window and noticed this beautiful creature ..the opossum. It was a very young one that must have fallen in the night in our window well. I went outside and found a wooden board and angled it in the window well for the poor frightened opossum to climb up. I backed up and when it could not see me it climbed up,looked around ,saw me and took off.That was my only close and personal contact I had with an opossum. Throughout the years I saw them wandering in our garden,but only from a distance.
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Old 10-02-2013, 12:18 PM
 
4,881 posts, read 5,071,517 times
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I love possums and for 3 weeks worked with the babies. The are the only marsupial in North America. At the wild life center
you can only handle them for a short while because they do bite and their teeth are very sharp. It is out of the ordinary
to be able to pet an adult possum unless it was raised by hand. Interestingly, while they were at the rescue center, they
went to the bathroom in a litter pan filled with water. They ate yogurt, veggies, fruit and meat.
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Old 10-03-2013, 12:14 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
31,701 posts, read 57,686,858 times
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It's a sure sign of spring in our area when we see dead opossums on the local roads. I heard that it takes three of them to reproduce, because one is watching out for cars. Unfortunately that doesn't always work.
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Old 10-03-2013, 12:20 PM
 
12,099 posts, read 9,191,107 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
It's a sure sign of spring in our area when we see dead opossums on the local roads. I heard that it takes three of them to reproduce, because one is watching out for cars. Unfortunately that doesn't always work.
HAHAHAHA!!! That's too funny!

I don't like to see anything dead on the road.

HOWEVER they do spread a germ or virus or something that causes a mostly fatal disorder (EPM) in horses. It's neurological and is the end of a productive horse. DO NOT encourage then to hang out in the barn yard or pasture!

Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 10-03-2013, 12:40 PM
 
Location: Henderson, NV, U.S.A.
10,686 posts, read 6,694,131 times
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i remember elly may clampett loved them.
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Old 10-04-2013, 08:38 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
31,701 posts, read 57,686,858 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f.2 View Post
i remember elly may clampett loved them.
And the rest of the family loved to eat them.
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Old 10-04-2013, 09:08 AM
 
Location: SoCal again
17,160 posts, read 13,952,997 times
Reputation: 34140
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
It's a sure sign of spring in our area when we see dead opossums on the local roads. I heard that it takes three of them to reproduce, because one is watching out for cars. Unfortunately that doesn't always work.

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Old 10-05-2013, 04:22 AM
 
2,808 posts, read 3,086,833 times
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You have done an amazing thing - connecting so closely with an opossum. They tend to be a very shy and easily frightened animal. My father had a dog that also enjoyed the company of the "family opossum". And Dad managed to scratch its ears occasionally. Dad had a way with all wild animals.

When I lived in an apartment with a patio, one would lumber across just outside the sliding door every morning about an hour before daylight. As long as I stood very still, it kept meandering along. But if I moved or made a sound, it suddenly had more speed than you'd ever expect.

I have a leaflet that says they are about the size of a house cat. Believe me, this fellow was twice the size of my house cat. Was it perhaps thick fur adding to his bulk?

A half block away was a very busy street which was passed overhead by a highway. Beneath that overpass was rock fill. In one spot there was a cave-like hole. Whenever I walked by there, I'd see either the same or another opossum hiding inside. This, of course, was daytime. So, his sleepy time.

A sentence in this leaflet says: "An entire litter, born blind and naked, may fit in a teaspoon." Can you imagine?
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