Is it safe to handle an opossum with bare hands?
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Is it safe to handle an opossum with bare hands?

There are many wild animals that you may come in contact with where you might feel compelled to grab it with your hands. For example, people frequently find birds that are hurt or sick, pick them up and carry them home to care for them. They nurse them back to health, and the bird flies away to live its life with great success.



It is a good feeling to know that you have helped this animal to be nursed back to health and to be able to go and live its life free and healthy once again. However, you should be aware that there should be some limitations to your generosity and your desire to be acting as a nurse made to these animals. You can get a lot of illnesses or get hurt by picking up a wild animal, and the opossum is a great example of this.

While many animals have been domesticated, this is not one of them. What this means is that these animals will act as any wild animal would; meaning they will do what they need to so that they can protect themselves. This should be your first warning about not picking them up.

Some are forced into a circumstance where they have to get a possum out of their home or other property building. The animal may get into their attic or actually enter into the home and so they are forced to try to capture it and get it out of the house. This leads to the question of if it is safe to handle an opossum with your bare hands?

Let’s go back to the wild animal premise to start out with. A wild animal will scratch and claw and bite to get free. If you are using your bare hands to try to grab that animal, you can be sure it is going to attack and bite you. The last thing you want is a bite or scratch mark from one of these animals. This cut can easily get infected or the opossum can cause a very serious injury to you. This is why you should never use your bare hands.

You should also be aware that many opossum’s carry diseases such as rabies. If they bite or scratch you, you have just been infected with whatever it is that they are carrying as a disease. This makes it incredibly dangerous for you.

Some may think that they are all brave or tough and so they don’t need to use gloves, but if you are considering doing this you should be aware that the health risks to yourself are numerous and quite serious. This is not a risk that any intelligent person should take.

If you are forced to handle an opossum with your hands, then you need to ensure that you have on very thick, durable gloves that would not be easy to penetrate. All of your exposed skin should be covered with a durable material as well. Read more: Opossum Control, How to Get Rid of Opossums, Opossum Feces.


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