A Baby Possum Adopted Us.

cliff_and_joannJuly 5, 2010

a couple of weeks ago we noticed the jar of fish food is

frequently opened...The head groundskeeper set the trap everynight, thinking we were gonna catch a coon.

Lo and behold, it was a baby Possum. We would feed and release him every morning. He's so friendly and docile, we discovered that he goes into the gardning tool cabinet on the deck and made himself a bed in a bucket. He's very content to spend his days sleeping in the bucket.

Cliff named him POGO

This is Pogo on June 27th...

Stay tuned for a movie coming to a theatre near you -- very soon...

Oh, it's here already, follow the link.

Here is a link that might be useful: POGO, The Movie

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catherinet(5 IN)

Oh how CUTE!! I especially like the one where he's in the bucket. Pogo doesn't like fish, does he?
Your yard is so full of life!
I actually have a soft spot in my heart for opossums. they seem to have such a hard life, and everybody thinks they're so ugly.
Thanks for being nice to him?

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 9:08AM
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catherinet(5 IN)

(Didn't mean to put a question mark after the last sentence).

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 9:12AM
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cliff_and_joann

Catherine, So far we've never had a Possom attack a fish.
I have a friend that is a Certified Opossom Rehabber, I'll have to ask her.

The yard is alive with birds, we have a bunch of
blue jays, downy woodpeckers, cat birds, and red belly woodpeckers born in the yard this year.
The woodpeckers are very noisy. The feeder on the rail is
a hollow rock that I fill with, bread, crackers, cookies,cake, chinese noodles, cereal,
anything and evrything I want to get rid of. That rock
feeder gets a lot of action.

The rest of the feeders have black oiled sunflower seeds and thistle for the American Goldfinches... Most of the birds love suet as well, we keep two suets going all the time, the downy woodpeckers,
and red belly woodpeckers, cardinals, chickadees and a lot of other birds love the suet.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 9:33AM
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mondotomhead

I just love possums. I am one of the ones that think they are so adorable - big or small and he is just a little cutety.

Thanks so much for taking care of him.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 10:41AM
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horton(6 b Ontario.)

Excellent videos, Joan and "The Head Groundskeeper".
Your new boarder is a cute little b*gg**, right enough!
"Horton"

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 11:53AM
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cliff_and_joann

Thanks mondo and horton...he has a cute little personality.

Yesterday, one of our son's stopped by to drop off our
grandpuppy for the day. So the Head Groundskeeper took
our grand daughters out to see POGO asleep in
his bucket bed.
He opened the cabinet doors, and pulled out the bucket
half way. Pogo was quite annoyed that his nap was disturbed...
Can you IMAGINE! What does he think all Possums have it this good???? :)

He then turned and buried himself in the leaves and went back to sleep zzzzzzzz....

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 12:30PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

I get a kick out of the little ones too. It is a shame they have such a short life span. Even so, they have short tempers, short memories and sharp teeth. Take care.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 1:37PM
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goodkarma_(5b)

Awwww....so cute. Very kind of you to look out after the little guy.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 9:29AM
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terrestrial_man(9)

Glad to hear and see that you find opposums adorable. They are really neat animals and can become quite large as adults. Your baby was left there by its mom because she found the area rich in food for it to survive. Once such an assessment is made you will find yourselves supporting opposums from here on out. Keep in mind that they only live two to three years (maybe rarely up to four).
You may need to enlarge access to its nest or provide another area where it can find shelter as it gets larger, up to two feet from nose to base of tail and up to around 10 to 12 pounds or even larger as an adult.
Fish food is not really the best stuff for it. Give it dry cat food and occasional canned food. In your yard it will munch out on snails and slugs which it considers to be like candy besides bugs, worms, carrion, amphibians, and whatever small critters it can capture that will not present much of a battle for it.
They do have very sharp teeth and should not be treated like a pet but RESPECTED for the wild animal that it is and one that is willing to trust you in its presence.
Be sure to give it FRESH water as they seem to be fussy about their drinking water. I would also recommend giving it a portion of your yard where it can find privacy and feel safe to be itself so it can recreate (in all meanings of this word) with its own kind.

Here is a link that might be useful: Opposum Org info

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 7:37PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

We always have at least one possum in residence. I worry if I see one in the daytime. That usually means they are in trouble. We try to avoid feeding them but on occasion I have left a can of fish food in their reach and they rip it open and feast. They like the cat chow but black sunflower seed seems to go down well. They are not as fussy with their bathroom habits as some other animals so you need to watch out for that. They are as susceptible to parasites as other small mammals, especially fleas and mites which will infest bedding so replace bedding material frequently. In winter, they have made a nest out of such things as quilt batting from the pond and a box lined with styrofoam. They enjoy a rest on an old stadium blanket on the porch but it isn't in an enclosed space so that is just a temporary stop. They prefer hiding in an overturned flower pot. I have seen them out and about in snow so they don't hibernate completely. Small ones are threatened by owls, dogs and raccoons. Larger ones will stand up to a small raccoon if it can't hide. I have had one run under my chair and huddle behind my feet when a raccoon turned feisty. Interesting critters.

I had no idea there were such things as Opossum Rehabbers.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 12:07PM
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ademink(z5a-5b Indianapolis)

Sandy, if they are low on food you will usually see them during the day...is that right? Is that what you mean by "in trouble"?

I have one that has lived back under a corner of my retaining wall since it was a baby. It's cute as can be...well...it was but now it's big and hairy with giant fangulars. LOL I find the males to be less cute than the females. Still cute to me though.

Anyway, I started seeing him foraging in my grassy area during the day where I threw bread and seed for the birds. I figured he must be hungry so started putting out dry dog food for him at night...I'm not seeing him out during the day anymore.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 12:26PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

I thought of you, Cliff and Joanne, as I looked out my window this morning and saw a baby opposum running across the yard.
I went out to help it over the fence, but couldn't find it. When I let Suzi (our dog) out this afternoon, it will be on a leash....until we can find that little booger. It was soooo cute!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 1:42PM
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goodkarma_(5b)

Last summer my daughter was shrieking because our dog had "killed" a baby possum and it was on the deck. I asked her how much blood as I was hoping it was still alive. She said no blood, but it wasn't moving. Some of you probally have guessed that the poor baby "played possom" and by the time I got to the back door it was on it's way to hide under the plants.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 2:55PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

I had an adult possum in our back yard a number of years ago. I put on leather gloves, long sleeved shirt and got a snow shovel and scooped it up and over the fence. It was sort of playing dead, except for bearing its teeth at me. haha
I was going to scoop this little up and over too, but it disappeared too quickly. I'm sure glad I saw it before I let my dog out. I call our little dog "Suzi, the warrior princess".....and she lives up to her name! I've trained her to wait inside the door until I go out and clap my hands to scare wildlife away, before she goes tearing out.
I play dead myself sometimes. :)

How's Pogo doing C&J?

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 3:48PM
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cliff_and_joann

He's doing well, we put out food for him every night in the trap. We hear the trap spring and then he's locked in
there all night. In the morning we carry the trap to the deck open it, and put more food on the deck, he grabs the food and brings it back in the trap to eat it. :)
Then he scoots out for his nap. zzzzzzz...

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 6:27PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

LOL....that he brings the food back to the trap to eat it. He must think that's his "cafe".

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 6:54PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Thanks for sharing that link Terrestrial man. Something killed a big garter snake near my chicken coop last night. :(

Is it possible it was this little possum?
I don't see them as real fighters. Are they?
They seem to have a very hard life.....especially in winter.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 7:54PM
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cweathersby

Lucky grandkiddos to have grandparents like you guys! I have really enjoyed your videos. Please keep posting them! I have no wildlife around here thanks to my 4 stray - and now beloved- dogs.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 10:22PM
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horton(6 b Ontario.)

Joann and Cliff, You maybe interested in this since you have small children around your new found friend.

I was watching the "Dirty Jobs" TV show last night. Mike Rowe the dirty job guy, was accompanying a Wildlife Control operator, who was trapping all sorts of critters that had made their nests under the floors of people's homes.

Along with Skunks and Raccoons, they also caught a couple of Opossums at one home and the professional trapper told Mike Rowe that Opossums (or Possums) were the "biggest carriers of HIV and *Tuberculosis". He also mentioned that the young ones were quite cute but warned Mike Rowe to be aware of the teeth on the adults, as they could rip you open in a jiffy.

As soon as he came out with that information and warning I thought of you both and your grandchildren.
Take care,
"Horton"

* I did a search and found the possums in New Zealand are infected with/carriers of Bovine Tuberculosis. Whether it has, in fact, entered North America and infected the native Opossums here, I could not really determine? Maybe you can do a more thorough search on the subject.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 8:09AM
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cliff_and_joann

Thanks horton for the heads up.
I'll be sure to keep all of our kiddles and bits away from
Pogo. He's a roam free possum and during the day he's
sleeping, so there won't be much interaction with the little ones.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 12:09PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

I have had problems in the past when the opossum made himself too comfortable around us and wanted to make his home inside. I grab them by the tail and toss them in a box and haul them outside. They don't quite know what to think of the whole thing and they will take their time leaving the box. They want to make sure I'm not around to grab them again. I prefer to keep wild things wild.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 7:54PM
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