Although opossums start out small, they grow very quickly and start making their way out of the pouch and on to their mother’s back. They are able to fend for themselves when they are 8 inches long from head to tail. In the wild, they can live for up to two years. In a setting like Lindsay Wildlife, with free food and a comfortable enclosure, our opossums have been living for more than four years.
In July of 2018 a tailless baby opossum was brought to Lindsay Wildlife Rehabilitation Hospital after she was found alone under a deck in Richmond. After examination, it was clear her missing tail was the result of trauma or injury. Opossums have prehensile tails adapted for grasping and wrapping around things like tree limbs. Because this opossum had no tail, which is necessary for balance and nest building, she would not have survived in the wild and cannot be returned. So she became an animal ambassador. And after a public vote, she was given a name: Poppy!
Poppy has been an important part of the animal ambassador team and demonstrates just how adaptive and “awesome” opossums are!