The possum feeds on insects, voles and mice. 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. By 1950 possums were found in over half of New Zealand and they kept spreading. Contact us for your local agent. "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.". Use our trapping best practice to ensure you get the best results. They are not on the DWA list either, so a license is not necessary. So now we obtain to the great stuff. Should I keep possums as pets? There is a baby food that comes in a tube that is very handy for portioning out and storing, Handle your opossum as much as possible. However. Possums are defined as a pest under most regional pest management plans in New Zealand. When speaking of true possums, i.e. Dangers of a possum infestation. For possums in captivity, the animals can be kept stimulated by hiding their favorite foods inside logs or hollow gourds. 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. 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.) There are two colour forms of the species - grey and black, with many vari… Possum fur is very soft and luxurious (the reason why they were introduced into NZ). By rearing a possum in captivity, you are suppressing their natural instincts. 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. Take a look at our article whether Possums dangerous for humans or pets? The damage done by possums costs NZ farmers about $35 million every year. The worst part about keeping an opossum for a pet is that they don't have a long lifespan..... Other than that they make Awesome pets! Transforming a possum into a pet can be an expensive proposition and one fraught with dangers for these animals. Once they are old enough to survive independently, healthy possums can and should be released. 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. If your dog or cat spends most of its time outside, stick to a feeding schedule rather than leaving food outside around the clock. They can stay zoned out for hours, emitting a … Cannibalism is the consumption of another human's body matter, whether consensual or not. Need possum removal in your hometown? 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. Biology Letters, 11.https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsbl.2015.0307, Click to attach a photo related to your comment. 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. It's illegal to keep possums in captivity in Northland but possum lovers say they make "highly intelligent, lovely pets". Opossum or possum photos courtesy of the U.S. - 10 points to whoever finds out!? 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. 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? Words & images: Sheryn Dean Trappers use a soft leg-hold trap to catch possums. Do not litter train them if they can be. In addition, opossums are solitary animals and may not get along with other animals. The fur is about 4-6 cm in length with a dense cushioned undercoat. for more information. The opossum is an omnivore. Scientists have no idea why they age so quickly. Purchase a humane possum trap. Virginia possums run up about £500 each for babies, more for adults. Taking a possum out of their natural habitat is essentially cruel and unnecessary. "I do understand why you aren't allowed to keep them - they are an introduced animal and they do create a lot of damage. We service over 500 USA locations! Apply for a permit. They are not widely available so you'd either have to find a breeder or get in contact with a specialised pet shop. An apple hung on a string will encourage the animal to bob for apples. Opossums cannot suckle so you have to feed it with a seringe. So it isn’t a good idea to have a possum if you have parrots. But far from being a nuisance, opossums can be beneficial for your garden, eating snails, slugs, insects and … Some say it is cruel to not "return them to nature"? But, is it truly right to keep a possum as a pet? Furthermore, is it right to take wild animals away from their natural habitat? Opossum’s lifespan can vary in the wild and in captivity. You will have to feed every three hours and after each feeding you have to stimulate the genitles to pee and poop. 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. Good Luck! What occurs will depend on the individual animal. Possums have a voracious appetite for our native trees and plants. 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. Possums as Pets: General Guidelines and Tips. They are not rodents! 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. They cannot be applied to every animal in a given species. The stress of lost freedom, being close to humans … The English word ‘possum’ was first used for this opossum variety. If they are being kept as pets, they could become overweight and potentially unhealthy. The possum returned every night around dusk to play with the cats for two months. Another black possum caused Hitchens disbelief when she found it playing with her cats. There is quite a lot of interest about possums as pets. Ronnie Hitchens fed a female possum for two years after it made a home between sheds at her Kaitaia farm. In which states is it legal to have a pet Opossum? Omega Pet Food Product Background. Due to their appearance and size, the North American Opossum (also called Virginia Opossum) can seriously freak people out looking like an oversized rat. They are found in North, South and Central America, but mainly in the North. By contrast any adult native animal, including birds and possums, that has been reared in the wild, has learnt to fear humans, watch for other predators, find a diet of natural food and interact with other members of its own species. Then depending on male or female animals you can encounter some very hard to handle behavior. The Brush-tailed Possum [Trichosurus vulpecula] is a marsupial or pouched mammal. 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]. It's illegal to keep possums in captivity in Northland but possum lovers say they make "highly intelligent, lovely pets". A native of Australia, the possum was introduced into New Zealand between 1837 and 1840 to establish a fur industry. Lack of immunity in captivity conditions can lead to bacterial diseases. You may even need to pass a written exam or take a training class to get a permit. "If I hadn't seen it, I wouldn't have believed it. 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. You should go to a pet store and buy puppy milk to feed it. However, possums come in grey and dark forms and there also are occasional albino animals. It continued to live in the shed and I fed it, then one morning I went down and it had gone. Use. Diets in captivity cannot hope to match the diversity of the animal's diet in the wild. Is cannibalism legal in California? They are Northland's number one animal pest, according to the Northland Regional Council. 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? If you want to read similar articles to Possums as Pets: General Guidelines and Tips, we recommend you visit our Basic care category. Grow vegetation that will provide natural food sources, like flowers and fruit, for brushtail possums. Possums that live longer than a year may suffer from cataracts, lose coordination and become obese. 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 common brushtail possum, Trichosurus vulpecula, was first introduced to New Zealand from Australia in 1837 to establish a fur trade. In colour it is grey or dark brown on the head, back and tail and white or dirty yellow on the belly. Because possums are so regularly hit by cars or otherwise killed, there are many orphaned baby possums in the world. Depending on where you are or who you speak to, there is either a lot or no difference between an opossum and a possum. Possums have natural habits and behaviors they need to carry out. We also need to consider kindness. They seem to know that indoors they have air conditioning, food, and good housing. "If another one turned up like she did, I would feed it - it's almost a compliment to have a wild animal stay there. Possums as pets dangers. Posted: (1 days ago) The possum is a beautiful animal, but there are many specific concerns regarding keeping them as a pet. If you don't have the dedication and time commitment it takes to raise an opossum, find a wild life rehabber ASAP. They are known to live for three years in th… Update: Ju5tin - I regret to inform you that youre wrong. The opossum is also a very good climber; please keep this in mind when considering an opossum as a pet. The trap holds the possum, which usually curls up and goes to sleep once it realises it can’t escape. In most of the country, it’s READ MORE: *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  *Pet possum safely home after lolly lure  *Secret possum rescuers: the people who love a hated New Zealand pest. Possums are vectors of bovine tuberculosis (Mycobacterium bovis), which is a major threat to the dairy, beef, and deer farming industries. Yes you can. This article is about Opossums, not Possums... Its the same animal, you idiot. Another important factor is that it is illegal to keep possums without a wildlife rehabilitation permit. 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. The North American Opossum is the only marsupial living in the north and parts of Center and South America. Possums are also a threat to native wildlife such as Kiwis in New Zealand. Then expect to pay a heck of a lot more than that on a suitable enclosure, diet, toys and furniture for them. Others have become reliant on humans to the point that sending them to the wild will mean they have little chance of surviving. Their scientific name is Didelphimorphia. So far he is growing rapidly and seems to be doing well. The possum is a beautiful animal, but there are many specific concerns regarding keeping them as a pet. It may even cuddle and form a relationship with you. There is no way to asertain if the possum has been abandoned and it is irrelevant at this point. In captivity, they may survive for longer, if proper nutrition and care are received from a qualified handler. Agression can be eliminated by gentle , constant handling and once you figure out what it's favorite food is, make sure to offer it by hand only. When they behave like nature intended they can be not so nice "pets". At first, the animal can adapt to living with people. However, making the distinction can help clear up any concerns on what you are dealing with. To keep the opossum/possum legally, a wildlife rehabilitation permit is needed from the state. They eat the berries and flowers that are food for our native birds and insects. 1. We rescued 3 infants whose mother and other siblings were killed on the road when they were about 8 weeks old. We want to do what is best for him. People often ask the same question about domestication for animals such as otters or kangaroo rats. If it is then captured and contained it is impossible to provide the animal with the quality of life it has learnt to expect. The tips provided in this article are the ones used to help care for sick or injured possums. If you have existing pets (e.g., dog, cat), an opossum may not be a great addition. While there may be many examples of wild animals creating bonds with human beings, the circumstances where this happens are unique. 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