Zoológico de São Paulo Cares for Orphaned Opossums


Zoológico de São Paulo recently became home to a pair of Bare-tailed Woolly Opossum joeys. The siblings were orphaned when their mother was attacked and killed, in their forest, by a domestic dog. The joeys were found, unharmed, clinging to their mother’s body.

Zoo technicians have been hand-rearing the brother and sister. Initially they required milk, but they have now progressed to solids and are now feeding themselves pureed fruit with insects.



4_12711313_1109650209069365_5662784713940919874_oPhoto Credits:Paulo Gil - Zoo / SP

The Bare-tailed Woolly Opossum (Caluromys philander), also called the White-eared Opossum, is a species from South America. Its range includes Bolivia, Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela. It is a species restricted only to moist forests.

Like other members of the genus Caluromys, the Bare-tailed Woolly Opossum is a strongly arboreal species of marsupial, differing from other didelphid opossums in having a comparatively large encephalization quotient and smaller litter size. Its name comes from its naked, prehensile tail.

It feeds on fruits, nectar, invertebrates and small vertebrates. Bare-tailed Woolly Opossums actively climb through the upper canopy of trees as they look for fruit and insects.

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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