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Being North America’s only marsupials, baby opossums remain in the mothers’ pouch or travel on her back by clinging to her fur until they are 3 months of age.  Opossums that are about 6-7 inches in length are pretty much on their own and independent.  If the opossum you’ve found is smaller than that, and there is no sign of a mother nearby, it’s likely become separated from her and may be in need of assistance.  


Adult opossums frequently are hit by cars, so should you find one that is dead, and only if it is absolutely SAFE for you to do so, carefully check to see if it has a pouch on the belly and whether there are any babies in the pouch that may still be alive.  You can remove them or scoop the mothers body up into a box and take her and the babies to the nearest authorized wildlife custodian or wildlife centre. 


Be certain that when you check and move the opossum you are wearing gloves.  Again, if road traffic is not safe, do not place your own life in jeopardy.  Opossum babies that are very tiny, and weigh under 15 grams generally cannot be saved, at that age they require a mother to feed them.


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Last modified: 09/23/16 08:17 PM