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What do wildlife rehabilitators do with opossums?

There may be times where you find an orphaned or injured opossum in your yard. While these are fairly ugly animals that can be quite dangerous to your health if they bite or scratch you, even if you breathe in the particles from their feces, you may be one of those people who feels a compulsion to help an animal that is need.

If you want to do so, then the way to do it would be to take it to a place where there are wildlife rehabilitators. These men and women specialize in helping wild animals to survive once they are found in one of the two states mentioned earlier. Here is how they work.

When an animal is brought in, they first check it for diseases. The opossum can carry distemper and rabies, among other things, and this can be very dangerous, not only to the rehabilitators, but also to other animals that may be in the environment that they are going to move the animals to. The last thing they want to do is to add an animal to an ecosystem that comes in sick. It could make all the other animals there sick as well, and that defeats the whole purpose of this group.

As they are checking for illnesses, the staff also checks to see if there are any other medical needs. If this is an orphaned opossum then it may need to be fed and allowed time to grow so that it can survive outdoors. This can mean providing food and shelter while the animal learns to fend for itself.

After the possum is checked and declared healthy enough, then the task becomes to add it to an environment where it can survive. The wildlife rehabilitators are trained to be able to assist animals to reintegrate back into the wild so that they can continue on with their lives.

Part of this training understands not only what kinds of environments a wild animal needs, but also where it came from. For example, if an opossum was living around a farm somewhere before being hit by a car, putting it out into forest area miles away from where anyone lives may not be the best option. In fact, it may be a terrible option.

These professionals understand what to do to give an animal the best chance to survive, and so they will match up the ecosystem with the animal so that it has a very good chance of survival.

Since the possum’s lifespan is on average about four years, these rehabilitators want to do all they can to make it so that the animals have the best possible chance to prolong their life. Read more: Opossum Control, How to Get Rid of Opossums, Opossum Feces.

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