Orphan Opossum Finds a Home at Northwest Trek

Baby Opossum Close-up at Northwest Trek

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park in Eatonville, Washington recently welcomed a rescued baby Virginia Opossum. Hand-raised, the tame animal will join the park's Animal Trailside Encounters team, which allows visitors to get up close and personal with local wildlife handled by a trained keeper. 

The Virginia Opossum is the only North American marsupial that lives north of Mexico. When frightened, these animals often pretend to be dead (i.e. playing possum) so curious predators lose interest in them. While this defense mechanism seems to be involuntary, don't be fooled into thinking Virginia Opossums are defenseless: they can also be quite feisty when cornered!

Baby Opossum at Northwest Trek 2

Baby Opossum at Northwest Trek 1

Orphaned Opossum Finds a Happy Home

VLM Oppossum 2

Two weeks ago, the mother of this baby Opossum was found killed by a passing car. The individual who found the mother knew enough to check around the mother and in her pouch (due to time of year) for babies. There was only one baby, and they brought her in to The Virginia Living Museum in Newport News, Virginia.  She will join the animals at the museum and could someday be used in the museum's educational live animal programs with school children. The woman in the picture is Virginia Living Museum’s Vet Tech – Linda Addison.

VLM Oppossum 1

VLM Oppossum 3
Photo credits: Karlton Rebenstorf