Opossums and many other wild animals will be attracted to the food, and you may even be putting your pet in danger by causing fights over the food. So now we obtain to the great stuff. You need to possum-proof your home. The tips provided in this article are the ones used to help care for sick or injured possums. If you are asking, “Can opossums be pets?” maybe the better questions revolve around how well you can maintain their natural lifestyle, and if you’d want to. In general, it is not recommended to keep possums as pets. You should go to a pet store and buy puppy milk to feed it. Pygmy possums are not opossums, but the kind found in Australia we discussed above. Possums as Pets: General Guidelines and Tips, Kiwis as Pets: General Guidelines and Tips. A couple of news stories about pests as pets recently caught our attention and while we’re animal lovers too, the council’s focus is on protecting our native species from extinction as they can’t always defend themselves. It used to meet her at the bus stop after school, and was fed bits of fruit. Based on where one resides, a volunteer may be needed with a wildlife rehabilitator to ensure your pet possum remains in good health. Sometimes, an orphaned possum may be found abandoned. Diego Astúa, R., et al. A possum. What is the difference between a possum and an opossum? Grey possums are more common in … There are some individuals which have shown docility in front of humans, but not all possums will be the same. It's illegal to keep possums in captivity in Northland but possum lovers say they make "highly intelligent, lovely pets". In our need to be connected to nature, many people are looking to exotic pets to keep in the home. Your possum also needs to be trained to use a litter box since childhood if they are never able to be returned to the wild. They are marsupials with prehensile tails, making them very good climbers. These creatures steal chickens. But far from being a nuisance, opossums can be beneficial for your garden, eating snails, slugs, insects and … They are found in North, South and Central America, but mainly in the North. You need to find an animal doctor who is qualified to address this type of health problems if you are going to raise a possum. This article made me worried...we found a baby possum in the garage who looked lost so we brought him in. Take a Qtip, dip in warm water and gently rub the genitals for a few seconds. If you want to read similar articles to Possums as Pets: General Guidelines and Tips, we recommend you visit our Basic care category. They are not widely available so you'd either have to find a breeder or get in contact with a specialised pet shop. Now the woman has a bird sanctuary at her Kaitaia home, and while she said she still loves possums, she shoots them if they come onto her property. Others have become reliant on humans to the point that sending them to the wild will mean they have little chance of surviving. Possums are defined as a pest under most regional pest management plans in New Zealand. Opossum or possum photos courtesy of the U.S. dawsonfurs@callplus.net.nz. Opossums can be encountered in the backyard and pose a threat to pets and humans. The fur is about 4-6 cm in length with a dense cushioned undercoat. Black possums predominate in wetter, forested areas, including the Kaimai Range, Te Urewera, Westland, Fiordland and western Southland, and on Stewart Island and Chatham Island. It's illegal to keep possums in captivity in Northland but possum lovers say they make "highly intelligent, lovely pets". jeff. Grow vegetation that will provide natural food sources, like flowers and fruit, for brushtail possums. Another important factor is that it is illegal to keep possums without a wildlife rehabilitation permit. If you have existing pets (e.g., dog, cat), an opossum may not be a great addition. Here are just a few of the animals that you can't keep as pets in Alabama (not that you'd want a pet piranha of course.) However. While the opossum is not generally an aggressive animal, this aspect should not be ignored. If not, then they may attack you our of frustration or in defense of being locked up. However, these creatures are wild animals and they require rehabilitation. It may even cuddle and form a relationship with you. In the wild, the possum is usually docile and will … those that are native to Australia, it is illegal to keep any possum as a pet: thus, the answer is "no" - a possum cannot be a pet. The possum feeds on insects, voles and mice. Poor diets can lead to metabolic bone diseases that are expensive to treat and potentially fatal. They seem to know that indoors they have air conditioning, food, and good housing. But it happened to me. In captivity, they may survive for longer, if proper nutrition and care are received from a qualified handler. earlier this year, we brought you the story of a very special possum, who lives in hamilton. The opossum is an omnivore. Possums are commonly found in the forests of New Zealand - their natural habitat. I thought that if I followed the expert advice of possum specialists, I could keep my baby alive and happy. If it is then captured and contained it is impossible to provide the animal with the quality of life it has learnt to expect. So they work out to be pretty beneficial for combating household pests. Posted: (1 days ago) The possum is a beautiful animal, but there are many specific concerns regarding keeping them as a pet. These pets love to chew on wires and wires so search around to see to it that they are no place near your electric wiring as fires might be caused. There is quite a lot of interest about possums as pets. Short-tailed possums are solitary creatures with night time habits, so they do not like captivity. Opossums, however, are more commonly referred to simply as possums in the South and Midwest of the USA. But, is it truly right to keep a possum as a pet? Thankssss. Mysterious metal monolith pops up in Christchurch, the latest home to the global phenomenon, Mystery surrounds boat ordered to leave Fiordland, Questions raised after police officers stop youths to take their photos. To keep the opossum/possum legally, a wildlife rehabilitation permit is needed from the state. I work in a wildlife shelter with brushtail possums & can tell you that as babies they are so cute but as they mature become aggressive. Possums are also prone to disease, death, and infections in captivity. These creatures are curious and agile. They are not rodents! Do not litter train them if they can be. But my critters seem to have a different opinion on wanting to be returned to the wild as we originally intended to do. Possums rarely earn positive reactions and begs of "Can I hold him one more time?" Wibowo Djatmiko. This is particularly the case with a baby possum as they are indeed vulnerable. This release was unsuccessful and a second release 20 years later at the same Southland location was required for them to establish. Several EU nations halt UK flights, fearing virus variant, Quiz: Morning trivia challenge: December 21, 2020, New Zealand vs Pakistan: Tim Southee stars as Black Caps seal Twenty20 series, Son of former All Black stars at national under-19 cricket tournament, Fear strawberries won't be back next Christmas, fruit growers warn they can't continue, 'You must stay in your state': Victoria shuts out Sydney, sends police to border, Aliens or artists? Obviously the person who wrote this article has never had a pet possum. Transforming a possum into a pet can be an expensive proposition and one fraught with dangers for these animals. The marsupials compete with native wildlife for food, and eat birds eggs and insects. Another Kaitaia woman who didn't wish to be named, said she grew up with a young possum after it was found curled up in her father's army coat pocket. The damage done by possums costs NZ farmers about $35 million every year. Scientists have no idea why they age so quickly. The average density in the North Island is equivalent to four possums per hectare, but can reach 25 animals per hectare on pasture bordering areas of native forest and shrubland. Depending on where you are or who you speak to, there is either a lot or no difference between an opossum and a possum. While the opossum is not generally an aggressive animal, this aspect should not be ignored. Stimulation is a simple process. Possums as pets dangers. Photo via flickr. According to the article "keeping him in captivity" will make him aggressive and is not the best choice? Due to their appearance and size, the North American Opossum (also called Virginia Opossum) can seriously freak people out looking like an oversized rat. Agriculture. "They make highly intelligent lovely pets, but they can do a lot of damage.". Possum meat is particularly high in Linoleic Acid, an essential fatty acid which is important for skin health. Instead, I had to bury him after a long, hard death. When you notice that the opossum is lapping up it's puppy milk, you can offer solid foods in the form of baby food, Pay close attention for the first week when offering solid foods as the opossum has a tendency to take too much and choke. Since the arrival of people 750 years ago 75 plant and animal species have gone extinct and many, many more are at risk of disappearing. In the southern rātā–kāmahi forests of Westland, many valleys lost more than 50% of canopy trees within 15–20 years of possums arriving. This AnimalWised article explores the possibility of raising possums as pets and whether they should be released once they reach adulthood. McKenzie said he couldn't say how many cases he had come across, but it was part of his job as a regulator to remind people it's illegal to keep possums as pets. Technically, you need a permit to keep a possum as a pet, but the Department of Conservation doesn't enforce that law, as long as the possum stays on the property. Possums are also a threat to native wildlife such as Kiwis in New Zealand. But, as it grows, your will notice that it is turning into a wild animal, and that it starts displaying some animal instincts. Use our trapping best practice to ensure you get the best results. Based on your description of size, open eyes and behaviour it is at least 8 weeks old. Can we keep possums as pets? They are known to live for three years in th… They do not like to be held captive and will need to seriously bond with a human when they are young if you can expect them to co-habitate peacefully. (2015). The trap holds the possum, which usually curls up and goes to sleep once it realises it can’t escape. They also seem to enjoy our companionship as they will wander around the house, then climb up on the couch where we are sitting, curl up against us, and take a nap. "There were some cats playing on the rockery, and then I thought "I don't have that many black cats'.". We rescued 3 infants whose mother and other siblings were killed on the road when they were about 8 weeks old. Even when confronted with a predator, they will use the infamous "playing possum" technique to appear dead and avoid an actual brawl. Keeping Possums as Pets: Why Possums Are Good for Nature. Purchase a humane possum trap. - 10 points to whoever finds out!? By joining, or logging in via Facebook, you accept Change.org’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Use. For possums in captivity, the animals can be kept stimulated by hiding their favorite foods inside logs or hollow gourds. Just different pronunciations. By rearing a possum in captivity, you are suppressing their natural instincts. HE'S ONE OF VERY FEW IN NEW ZEALAND KEPT AS PETS, PERFECTLY LEGALLY. Can you keep a possum as a pet NZ? Thats why hunters rave about feeding possum to … Cold Case murder mystery: What happened to Marion Granville? Once healthy, rehabilitated possums should be released into the wild where possible. Possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) were introduced to New Zealand from Australia in 1837 to establish a fur industry. A vet IS an animal doctor and just like human doctors they have different areas of practice. Wildlife rehabilitators are people who dedicate their lives (or at least large parts of them) to helping wild animals in trouble. While the possum is not a common pet, you can follow these guidelines if you are in the position where you need to rear one until a wildlife rehabilitator can be found: These are two types of opossums namely short-tailed opossum and the Virginia opossum. My little fellow {Sweet Pea} loves egg yolk and cheese. When speaking of true possums, i.e. Biology Letters, 11.https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsbl.2015.0307, Click to attach a photo related to your comment. Any conditions imposed on permits must be observed. Good Luck! In which states is it legal to have a pet Opossum? Although there are mixed opinions about the issue, you’ll still hear conservationists and the New Zealand government push for possum eradication. In addition, opossums are solitary animals and may not get along with other animals. They will wander around and snoop at everything eating bugs and such. Mine don't seem to support that opinion. Yes you can. These animals generally don't fare well in captivity. The common brushtail possum, Trichosurus vulpecula, was first introduced to New Zealand from Australia in 1837 to establish a fur trade. It is essential to strike a balance in order to remain healthy. I just found a baby possum,it has it`s eyes open but is so weak it has trouble walking,or maybe it`s still learning? Diets in captivity cannot hope to match the diversity of the animal's diet in the wild. for more information. In colour it is grey or dark brown on the head, back and tail and white or dirty yellow on the belly. Possums as Pets: General Guidelines and Tips. I have recently found a possum and it says I need a permit to keep it. Cannibalism is the consumption of another human's body matter, whether consensual or not. The question of whether these animals fare well in captivity remains. The possum returned every night around dusk to play with the cats for two months. But after a while, they wander back over to us, climb up on our shoulder and stay there until we go back into the house where they then head to their bed and take a nap. "I never pushed the relationship but she would let me stroke her and I would feed her grain twice a day and willow when it started to sprout," Hitchens said. Then depending on male or female animals you can encounter some very hard to handle behavior. This is something important when considering opossums as pets. Opossum’s lifespan can vary in the wild and in captivity. Dangers of a possum infestation. No person is allowed to keep a possum in captivity as a pet, without the permission of the Minister of Conservation. They are now about 6 months old. As with any non-domesticated animal, we need to start with a question. In general, it is not recommended to keep possums as pets. It is important to be patient with these possums and permit them to smell you before picking them up. Because possums are so regularly hit by cars or otherwise killed, there are many orphaned baby possums in the world. Some animals are simply not healthy enough to ever return to the wild. First Evidence of Gregarious Denning in Opossums (Didelphimorphia, Didelphidae), with Notes on Their Social Behaviour. "They compete directly for food for native birds, they like to eat bird chicks and eggs, and dine out on insects, they are real omnivores.". Contact us for your local agent. We want to do what is best for him. "I do understand why you aren't allowed to keep them - they are an introduced animal and they do create a lot of damage. In the wild, the possum is usually docile and will not attack you without confrontation. They can stay zoned out for hours, emitting a … Agreed... "Opossums do not fare well in captivity" has to be the worst line of the whole article... in the wild they Are the "fare" so to speak. Then expect to pay a heck of a lot more than that on a suitable enclosure, diet, toys and furniture for them. Their diet includes the following: The possum also feeds on small animals such as mice, rats, and roadkill. What can you do? The English word ‘possum’ was first used for this opossum variety. The possum has a thick, bushy tail, thick body fur, a pointed snout and large, pointed ears. We use minced possum meat in our Lamb and Possum adult dog food as wild caught NZ Possum is an excellent source of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Permits must be obtained before trapping possums. Learn more about possums as pets in terms of their advantages and disadvantages. it is about 4" long not counting tail,I gave it some orange Gator Aid and some apple sauce,very,very little of both,I put heating pad and a very soft blanket in a lower part of a cage,made sure she is in dark, I will try and feed it in two hours or so,I also rub her back and tummy with my fingers, is there any way of knowing if she was lost or abandoned? While the opossum is not generally an aggressive animal, this aspect should not be ignored. Some are capable of surviving on their own, while others aren’t. They can also threaten livestock and crops of farmers. ... especially the fact that keeping an opossum as a pet will bring a lot of serious challenges for the owner. Fish and Wildlife Service Opossums can carry parasites that affect horses and birds. They are never referred to as an opossum, which is why many call the American kind the opossum and the antipodean variety simply the possum. Opossum attacks are rare, but they do take place, which is why having a possum as a pet is not such a good idea. A possums size can be little and computer mouse like yet various other types such as the Australian Brush rear can show up to be the dimension of your pet cat. Their scientific name is Didelphimorphia. It's an offence to breed, knowingly communicate, exhibit, multiply, propagate, release, or sell a pest except under certain circumstances (see section 52 and section 53 of the Biosecurity Act 1993). In 1946, possums were officially declared a pest in the New Zealand environment. Symptoms of Labor, Teaching a Child to Care for a Pet: Guidelines and Tips, Caring for Puppy Dogs: Guidelines and Tips, How to Get a Dog to Sleep - Tips and Home Remedies, How to Take Care of a Short-Haired Guinea Pig. "They eat the birds eggs, I have to provide a safe habitat. Virginia possums are nocturnal and enjoy a slow paced, calmer household as they are timid and frightened. "But I wouldn't deliberately go out and find a possum to make a pet out of it.". "There are, however, strict criteria around breeding possums and putting them on public display." When they behave like nature intended they can be not so nice "pets". Taking a possum out of their natural habitat is essentially cruel and unnecessary. Should I keep possums as pets? We also need to consider kindness. However, possums come in grey and dark forms and there also are occasional albino animals. They have long snouts and small, sharp teeth. As many posts on r/Opossums will be quick to inform you, possums should only be kept as pets when they require rehabilitative care and couldn’t survive on their own in the wild. Provide lots of “escape routes” for possums to get away from dogs – trees and sturdy trellis leading up to high walls and rooftops provide such routes. This simulates what the mother does as an act of hygiene ( she eats the pee and poop } and this keeps the area clean. This tends to happen after about 1 1/2 to 2 years or when your "pet" is sexually mature. At first, the animal can adapt to living with people. Possums attack pets or even humans with massively pointed teeth. Take a look at our article whether Possums dangerous for humans or pets? The best way to keep them from visiting is to have tight-fitting lids on garbage cans, not to leave any pet food outside overnight and to remember to pick up any fruit that has fallen from trees. In fact, about 70% of the plants and animals found in NZ can be found nowhere else in the world! The diet is varied including corn and poultry. While many consider opossums solitary animals, recent studies have shown them to be more gregarious than previously thought[1]. Apply for a permit. Keep pet food inside. So far he is growing rapidly and seems to be doing well. It will not pee or poop if you don't do this and will die. Possums carry mites, fleas, and ticks that may adversely affect the health of your pets. There is no way to asertain if the possum has been abandoned and it is irrelevant at this point. 1. "If another one turned up like she did, I would feed it - it's almost a compliment to have a wild animal stay there. In this article we are talking about the North American possum, but it would be just as accurate to ask can you keep an opossum as a pet? I loved him dearly and it broke my heart. Ensure they are safe from pets on your property Keep cats indoors, or confined to outdoor enclosures. Keep in mind possums have 52 teeth designed to crush bones for a reason. What occurs will depend on the individual animal. Possums also have a short lifespan; around three years or less in the wild. They are not on the DWA list either, so a license is not necessary. However, when Australia was colonized by Europeans, they took this word and applied it to another type of marsupial which is found there, but not in the Americas. Temuka woman's beloved pet possum goes missing, Possum punch video 'animal cruelty': Environment Canterbury, SPCA, Luna the baby possum bids farewell to her 'mother' who saved her, Secret possum rescuers: the people who love a hated New Zealand pest. Unfortunately, many introduced species, such as possum, are threatening those native species. Need possum removal in your hometown? At first, the animal can adapt to living with people. Both need the care of a vet and treatment should basic health issues arise. The New Zealand Government spends over $110 million* per year on possum control. For apples stronger too 3 infants whose mother and other things they should n't includes the following: the has! //Royalsocietypublishing.Org/Doi/10.1098/Rsbl.2015.0307, Click to attach a photo related to your comment some capable. Of another human 's body matter, whether consensual or not carry out Dangers for animals... Hope to match the diversity of the plants and animals found in wild... 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Than 50 % of New Zealand environment may attack you our of frustration or in defense being..., like flowers and fruit, for brushtail possums they also have great dexterity, making them to! Lose coordination and become obese takes to raise an opossum as a?...