It is common for a female opossum to be hit by a car or killed by a dog but still have live babies either clinging to her fur or nestled safely in her pouch. The babies must be removed as soon as possible to prevent them from ingesting rancid milk from the dead mother.
If the babies are still attached to the mother’s nipples, firmly hold the baby in one hand and the area of attachment with the other hand and slowly pull with firm but gentle tension until released. Place all the babies in a container with a towel or t-shirt. If you are not comfortable removing the babies from the mother’s nipples, bring the dead mother to a rehabilitator who will detach the babies.
If you remove the babies from the dead mother, keep them warm using a sock filled with uncooked rice or beans heated in the microwave. Another source of warmth would be to place a heating pad on LOW setting halfway underneath the container. PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT TO FEED THE BABIES. Baby opossums must be fed special formula with a feeding tube.
With adult opossums, each situation is different. Please call us for help.
More information about finding wild animals:
By Allyson Jervey Sometimes it seems like all of the other volunteers at ATW have had many years of experience with either animal rehabilitation, veterinarian care, or human medical care. Not me…. I am completely and totally [...]