The beauty of Opossums.

Perfect for a Sunday!

I’ve always known that opossums didn’t carry rabies and are great tick eaters… but I didn’t know all the other good stuff mentioned in the article below.  But first, I follow “buttahmeupp” on IG.   Here is a pic:

OPOSSUM POWER!  Here is the article I read on FB:

Becky Zielinski
February 20 at 8:26 AM  ·
Popcorn is an opossum rescued two nights ago in rough shape and really struggling to survive in this weather. Did you know it’s not uncommon for rehabbers to be able to handle and even hold a wild opossum? They are so peaceful and docile in nature and are some of the most amazing creatures we have worked with.
While we are not recommending you attempt to pick up any wild opossum you come across, we would love to spread the true facts about these awesome guys and put a stop to the common misconceptions about them that often result in unnecessary cruelty. Here are just ten amazing facts about opossums you all should know!
1. They’re Not Aggressive
Even when confronted with a predator, they will use the infamous “playing possum” technique to appear dead and avoid an actual brawl.
They can stay zoned out for hours, emitting a foul odor in order to further keep any bad guys at bay, but they’ll never outright attack, even if they’re baring their teeth.
2. They Rarely Have Rabies
Unlike most other wild animals, possums are nearly completely immune to contracting rabies or passing it along. This is due to their natural body temperature being too low to maintain hosting the virus.
3. They Kill Thousands Of Ticks
According to stats reported by the National Wildlife Federation, a single possum can potentially eliminate 4,000 ticks in one week thanks to their extreme self-grooming methods (either crushing or consuming the ticks burrowing in their fur).
They also aren’t susceptible to Lyme disease and therefore can protect humans from contracting it, as they rid an area of the real pests.
4. They Won’t Destroy Your Lawn Or Property
Unlike other nocturnal animals creeping around neighborhoods, possums won’t destroy your lawn or property. If you happen to see one wander into your garage (a popular spot to see them pop up), and don’t want to share your space, simply leave a door open and remove any food that might have drawn them in. They’ll eventually mosey on out without making a fuss.
5. They’re True Survivors
They’ve been around longer than any other mammal. Possums are often called “living fossils” because they’ve been able to survive on our planet for millions of years — over 70 million, to be exact, which really shows their ability to overcome adversity.
6. They Help With Waste Management
They are not picky eaters. If it’s edible, they’ll eat it. Including commonly dining on animals struck by vehicles on the road (bones and all), which scientists refer to as “carrion.”
This basically makes them nature’s most efficient waste-management team and cleanup crew.
7. They’re The Only Marsupials Indigenous To North America
You have to admit, it would be a shame if Australia were the only home to marsupials! Plus, it makes possums even more of a unique part of our natural environment.
8. They Get Rid Of Garden Pests
They aren’t picky eaters when it comes to troublesome garden pests like slugs, beetles, and cockroaches, but they will leave the flowers or veggies you’re growing undisturbed.
9. They May Be The Key To Battling Venomous Snake Bites
The venom of rattlesnakes, cottonmouths, and other dangerous slithery snakes that might be hiding in your yard has no effect on possums.
Researchers have been looking into whether they can find the toxin-neutralizing strain in their blood, which could potentially be used to treat humans who have been struck by poisonous snakes.
10. They’re Actually Quite Smart
Possums tested with a higher intelligence than more domestic animals like rabbits, dogs, and cats — particularly when it came to finding good food and remembering exactly where it was to go back for more.


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3 comments have been posted...

  1. E. Hoskinson

    I agree with “Judith.” Opossums and horses do NOT mix. Every horse person in my area — lower NY — is aware of the prevalence of EPM — we see the disease and aftermath of the disease all the time (mostly because it, inadvertently or due to cost, goes untreated). So, to us, EPM Is not “rare.” At all.
    After seeing this article, I sent data to the editor of this Horse and Man on the link between the ingestion of opossum feces and attacks on the CNS of equines. In this area, Lyme, EPM are always top of mind when evaluating any lameness, changes of behavior, etc. Also, these two diseases may not kill outright as much as they maim. I am puzzled as to why the editor has not posted the clarifying information. I know people who have been permanently injured due to horses not able to control their bodies due to EPM. And also individuals can decide for themselves if EPM is prevalent, dangerous. UC-Davis does not routinely treat conditions prevalent on the East Coast. Given my geographical location, I would listen first to vets out of Cornell, for example.

  2. dawndi Post author

    Agreed.  But this is very, very rare, according to UC Davis.  Same with the myth that opossums carry rabies.  It can happen, but is very rare.  The vet at UCDavis said that Lyme disease is far more prevalent in equines than EPM and just as devastating – and opossums help greatly in the removal of ticks, which carry Lyme disease.  So, in their opinion, opossums are a good thing.–Also, as we all know, the mammal that kills most horses (far more than EPM or Lyme combined a hundred times over)… is man.

  3. Judith

    I do like possums, but they can also carry the parasite that causes EPM, which can be devastating to horses, as you know.

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