Lakeside Nature Center
Critter Corner - Opossum
DID YOU KNOW:
The opossum is the only marsupial (animal with a pouch) in North America?
Sometimes Opossums will seek out food around your home, so keep trash in metal containers and do not leave cat and dog food bowls out at night.
After birth, the young must climb through their mother's fur into a pouch on her abdomen. When the babies are 80 days old, they begin spending time outside of the pouch, riding on Mom's back. If you see a young opossum whose eyes are open walking around, don't assume it is abandoned. Mom may still be nearby, or it may be ready to live on its own.
Opossums are active year round and live in brush piles, hollow trees or perhaps even under your porch.
You may see opossums in your neighborhood at night scavenging for food. If you startle one, it may feign death, may quickly retreat up a tree or it may use its fifty sharp teeth as a defense.
To learn more about opossums
(Photo Credits: Close-up of opossum, Sharon Goff; Opossum on log, Bob Gress, Illinois Dept of Natural Resources; Opossum carrying nesting material, Missouri Department of Conservation)