1. I found an opossum baby/injured opossum. What should I do?
This is the question we hear the most. In all cases, the best thing to do is to contact a wildlife rehabilitator in your area. Get on Google and search for "wildlife rescue" or "mammal rescue" or "wildlife rehabilitator". Another good way to find someone is to call your local humane society and explain the problem. Someone there should be able to point you in the right direction. Before you do this, make sure that the opossum is in no immediate danger. Read this article which explains how you can help a baby or injured opossum while you wait for an expert to come to the rescue.
2. How can I attract an opossum to my home?
Many people ask us how to attract an opossum to their backyard. Please remember that opossums are wild creatures and it is illegal to keep one as a pet unless you have a special license. Also, it's impossible for you to make a wild animal a pet unless you raise it from infancy. That being said, there are things you can do to make your backyard and property more friendly and inviting to opossums. Read this article for more information.
3. I want an opossum as a pet. How can I get one?
Opossums are wild animals and it's illegal in most states to make one a pet unless you are specially licensed. Also, it would be dangerous to try to pet or pick up a wild opossum. They will be afraid if you approach them and might hiss, faint or in very rare cases bite. The most you should aim for is to make your property and surroundings inviting to opossums. Read this article for more information.
4. My friend says that opossums kill horses. Is that true?
Some opossums (and a few other animals) can carry a parasite called Sarcocystis Neurona which can be fatal to horses. Learn more about Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis (EPM) and how to protect your horses here.
5. I've heard opossums kill chickens. Is that true?
Yes, opossums have been known to kill chickens and other small ground birds. Learn how to protect your chickens from opossums here.
6. Do opossums carry hepatitis, tuberculosis and other such diseases?
Opossums have a spectacular immune system, and a lower than average body temperature. This means that they don't carry a whole lot of the standard zoonotic diseases that other animals might carry. Although an opossum might get rabies, it's very unlikely. However, opossums do often carry fleas and other parasites, and the potential diseases that go along with those. Read more about the diseases opossums can carry here.
7. What is the difference between "possum" and "opossum"?
There is indeed a difference!