Don’t Ever Try to Mother a Possum

Latest update: Possum Lovers -Before you read this, read my apology here! Yes, a marsupial!!


Update: Arrived home today to find a big old dead possum greeting me at the end of my driveway in the street. It was lying face up, with it’s long rat-like tail between it’s legs spread wide open, and it’s mouth agape, with those ugly teeth showing. Normally this would send me into tears to see a dead animal. But not this time. I just want someone to remove it as quickly as possible, and that will not be me.

Why wasn’t I upset? – Read my original Possum blog below:

Have I ever expressed my absolute revulsion and fear of rodents? Well, for me it is pretty intense, ranking right up there with similar feelings for cockroaches, other ugly bugs, and snakes.

This is probably strange coming from a girl who has a deep passionate love and soft spot for pets and animals of all kinds and who even had hamsters growing up. This is the thing though about hamsters. They don’t have rodent long slimy tails, they have nubs. So they look like miniature chipmunks or bunny rabbits with short ears. Very un-rodent-like. On the other hand, I would have never adopted a gerbil, because THEY resemble a rodent.

So at any rate, we have all kinds of nature converging in our small backyard. We have hummingbirds, raccoons, possums, cardinals, frogs, lizards, water beetles that like to congregate in my pool, (remind me to repost my blog “Swimming with the Beetles/Beatles) an occasional hawk, butterflies, and other assorted life forms. In fact, I am like the Snow White poster where all the little animals surround her – despite it’s smallish size, the animals are magnetically drawn to our yard.

It’s been fascinating to watch, especially when a random animal finds itself stuck in our pool. We have fished out several critters.

On a day last week, my husband found a baby possum swimming in our pool, trying to get out for dear life.
Possums LOVE our neighborhood and we get them around the house all the time. I hate the possums in our backyard, mostly because they are UGLY large RODENTS with long slimy rodent tails and beady eyes. I scream and run as far away from the possums whenever they appear, but my husband gets a kick out of them.

So he fishes out the baby possum, and dumps it on the grass but then he feels bad it is alone, and shaking from cold and squealing –


“He/She was crying (hissing)” my husband said.  So he runs back to the Internet to look up “orphaned shivering baby possum.” The instructions said that before you do a rescue or call animal services, to get the body temperature up, otherwise the baby will die.

The possibility of the baby suffering deathly consequences for taking a swim in our pool did not sit well with my soft-hearted husband. He read that you wrap the possum in a towel, and hold it to your body to restore it’s own body heat and then put it in a box with a heating pad.

So he set out to rescue this baby possum. He brought a towel outside and wrapped the baby possum up and put it close to his body. That’s when the baby possum, who had been hissing, took it’s adult-like razor-sharp teeth and decided to bite my husband.

The towel shielded my husband’s finger from the bite to the point where it didn’t break his skin, but I think he finally figured out that he too should feel the same way about possums, even baby ones, as his wife does. He dropped the baby possum in the bushy area in the back screaming “You’re on your own, you little MOTHER F’ER. (my G rated blog can’t print the entire quote unfortunately)


  • this pissed me off…. how can you leave an animal to die. of course it bit him, it was scared. fuck the both of you.

  • Jason Blocker

    I used to feel the same way about opossums until I unexpectedly found myself taking care of an orphaned baby opossum for several months and began doing research on them. My perception of them has completely altered since then. First thing I learned in my research was that ‘possums aren’t rodents. They are the marsupials (pouched mammals). Closely related to the Australian ‘possum’ the Virginia Opossum or North American Opossum (or simply ‘possum’ for short) is the first and original marsupial on the planet and distant relative to the kangaroo and koala. ‘Possums have been here since dinosaurs walked the earth, about 70 million years, remaining basically the same anatomically. They’re nocturnal or ‘night hunters’ and spend their days sleeping hidden away in their hideouts (hollow log, another animals den, under an old patio deck, and sometimes in a garage, shed, or attic that is still being used) except under certain circumstances when they can be seen up and about during daylight hours. They are intelligent, docile, unassuming animals that are great to have around because they eat insects, snakes, and (actual) rodents like mice and rats as well as other food sources. The opossum is highly resistant to rabies, immune to all types of snake venom (except that of the coral snake) and are very sweet creatures when you get to know them and they you. Their ‘rat-like’ prehensile (capable of grasping) tails help them balance while climbing trees and can also carry bedding materials such as twigs and leaves. They don’t move fast (usually a slow walk to a medium/slow scramble pace) and don’t attack humans or pets. They don’t have much defensive prowess so when feeling threatened they usually either show off their sharp teeth and hiss or growl (all bark but rarely bite even when they have a chance) or they “play possum” which is to go into a trance-like state, decreasing their heart rate and respiratory system, and secrete an oozing greenish substance that has musty death-like odor, in hopes of fooling would be predators into believing they’re dead and moving on. Minutes to hours later the possum begins to come out of this catatonic state once the coast is clear. Do some research or take the time to observe them and you will learn that opossums are incredible, interesting, and loveable animals. I recommend watching videos on YouTube if you’re open to finding out and seeing the reality of who and what opossums are. I personally grew so attached to the baby possum I had adopted that when she was old enough to be on her own and I had to let her go into the wild I was extremely emotional and distraught for weeks afterward. It felt like I had lost a part of myself and there was a void that remained that couldn’t be filled. I was not expecting any of that. But now I can say that ‘possums are among my favorite animals.

    • Thank you for reading and for writing in. What a heartfelt beautiful story of yours. I understand your feelings given what you have experienced, and I appreciate your having patience with me.

  • They aren’t rodents. Marsupials. Get ur facts right

  • WOW! I know this is an old blog but OH MY GOODNESS. I can’t believe you compare yourself to Snow White and then allow a baby to be thrown into the bushes to possibly die from hyerthermia. Don’t think that was a reasonable way to handle the situation. Over the years I have had hurt or hungry wildlife show up . Everything from birds, raccoon, fawns, rabbits, opussum,cats, etc. Never would I do what you did no matter what the animal looked like or what it did. I understand your not as knowledgeable in animal care as you think you are but it would have been a wiser choice to seek out help if you were in over your head. There are people and organizations that would care for the animal until it was well enough for release. Please dont compare yourself to Snow White in the future, it doesn’t look good on you.

  • wow, a full grown man getting hurt from the tiniest, harmless creature on earth…”coming from a girl who has a deep passionate love and soft…” naw maam, you are a big ol mean witch

  • U clearly know nothing about possums…that baby couldnt hurt u or your baby bitch butterfly husband…afraid of a shivering baby possum…u aint got a husband u got a wife

  • Possums aren’t rodents they are marsupials. Their babies incubate in a pouch. But I can see how they might be scary looking or rodent-like to some.

  • What a bitch

  • They are not rodents! They are marsupials (you know-kangaroo family). They are clean, non-aggressive and by the way ugly is in the eyes of the beholder.

  • Wow I know this post is old but I must comment on this obvious stupidity before some more people unknowingly absorbs this very wrong info about possum. The Virginia opossum (which is what is pictured) is not a rodent and their tails are not slimy ( where the hell did you get THAT idea??) And if you hate rodents as you say you do then you should WELCOME possum! They actually eat rodents, snakes (yes snakes) and insects as part of their diet. What more could you ask for?? The baby bit your husband because he was terrified. Even a domestic pet will bite in stressful situations like almost drowning. Why don’t you read up on them before deciding you hate them and perhaps educate yourself a bit. I actually hate you. And your husband.

  • What did you expect? To that baby you are a large predator? I had same experience this year in my pool and I routinely keep scamper ramp plus floating things an animal could get up on.. still had to fish little guy out but i simply put heavy towels over his body so he could warm up and kept eye out. Problem is this little guy is blind so wildlife person told me to put food and water out and he seems to be fine. However I fished him out of pool today and he climbed up scamper ramp and knew his way home. So I have sneaking suspicion he may use my pool! Darn. I will put wildlife cam on it to see. Wild Animals never thank us–god gave them a natural fear of us but then he told us to care for creation so it’s good to help when we can.

  • I feel so sorry for this opossum. She/he just needed a little love and kindness in the world. How can you be mad at a BABY for being scared!? And worse yet, punish a baby by throwing it out, cold and shivering, simply because it was scared of you??? A little compassion could do wonders for your credibility when you say you “love animals”. (and yes, I’m vegan, because I want my lifestyle to cause the least harm to all animals.)

  • Your ignorance is appalling

    Oh my goodness!! Please educate yourself before you go spreading ignorance around. Your opinion is your opinion, but your facts are incorrect. It is North America’s only marsupial. They have little “thumbs” on their hind feet and are actually quite beneficial in ridding your yard of RODENTS and garden pests. I imagine big wrinkly hairless mammals are rather scary and UGLY to them as well. You should delete this blog entry before others see it.

  • Carol Fletcher

    I rescued a baby Opossum, which is actually not a rodent. I handle her everyday and she has not once bit me or my husband. They can be very sweet animals if you aren’t afraid of them. They are usually just scared. Ours was found in our bathtub and now lives on a tote until we can build her a cage. She was scared for the first few days, but now I can pick her up by my bare hands. It all depends on how you react to them. No need to be scared of them. I was scared when I was a kid, but now u feel for the animals that I can’t release her because she is so small.

  • I’m glad I don’t know this woman, Nisson Lassin (sounds like a car model) ignorance seems to be her only friend; America’s only marsupial is a rodent… Okay… so why don’t you bui;d a ramp out of your pool for the animals to climb out? or better still fill it in and grow a tree instead :)

  • The opossum in a marsupial; the only one in North America. Their tails are not slimy, but a little rough and scaly. The tail is also prehensile and can be used for many things. Snow White you basically come across as, for lack of a better term, stupid, in your rant about opossums. From a personality standpoint, they are quiet and shy. Unlike most mammal in your Snow White world, they do no cary distemper or rabies. Only if you reach to pet one or try to pick it up, will it bite. There are no credible reports of an opossum approaching a person and biting. If startled, they will typically freeze and show their teeth. Why not show your teeth when you have more than anyone else?

    Of the animals in North America, they are among the most amazing. It’s too bad you will never have a clue.

    Find a wildlife center and learn something.

  • These are mean, nasty little creatures that will bite and attack you without provocation. Be nice to an opossum and as you THINK you have earned its ‘trust’….it will sink its long sharp teeth as far into your flesh as it can and it WON”T let go ! NEVER trust an opossum if its wild, and honestly, having a good understanding of animal instinct, I wouldn’t trust a 3rd generation opossum that had been raised by human hand. They’re mean, nasty evil little animals…

  • Opossoms are marsupials not rodents. And the baby will bite out of fear u have to approach them extremely slowly and gently. I raise possoms and have never been biten because I’m careful

  • possums are not rodents they’re marsupials.That mean that they have a pouch. I adopted a wild possum, but he was a baby. Didn’t really have teeth.So I fed him. three months later, he’s a teenager and my baby boy “Zuez”.!!!!!

  • Wow what a story! I really love animals so I like have to say it’s adorable! They may be mean and aggressive but if people would treat them better, like your husband did, with tools and materials and you should get a medicine ready also. I have a mature red ear slider and she escaped to my neighbors backyard, with their big, mean, aggressive German Sheperd. So then I brought her back and she bit the tip of my finger! I luckily ripped it out of her mouth and I would probably be very sick or dead by now if my mom wouldn’t have had taken action so fast! That’s like an example of what a possum could do. So please don’t assume things like that! 😀

  • Lololololol….that was HILARIOUS!

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  • Opossums are not rodents, they are our only marsupial. They are very primitive animals since the cretaceous era. They saw your husband as a predator, how are they supposed to know he is trying to help them. I have one since he was a baby and he is not releasable because his tail is missing and has no balance.

  • I hate possums, too. I know they serve a useful purpose, eating insects and snails in the garden, But like everyone else they are lazy and will go for pet food instead if there is any available, or scavenge in the garbage cans. They are ugly and smell terrible. You were lucky to find a baby swimming in the pool. We had the misfortune to find a drowned adult in our pool. Ugh! If you feel sorry for a lost possum baby it’s probably best just to get it into a pet carrier or a box (if you can do so while keeping yourself safe from the little monster’s teeth). There actually are wildlife rescuers and rehabilitators that love possums and know how to care for them. (For the record, they are not rodents. They are North America’s only native marsupial, more like kangaroos than rats, even though they look like mutant rats. Like kangaroos, possums carry their babies in a pouch.)

  • Thanks for the laugh! I hate those critters big & small as well.

  • It’s laudable that your husband decided to rescue the little fellow. It’s natural though that the beastie would try to bite him. After all, he is a lot bigger than it, and it doesn’t have a clue that he means well. Hope it survived.

  • What an ungrateful little bugger!

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