Biology Letters, 11.https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsbl.2015.0307, Click to attach a photo related to your comment. You will have to feed every three hours and after each feeding you have to stimulate the genitles to pee and poop. They are quite gentle, as trapper Blake O’Laughlin demonstrates in the photo below by ‘trapping’ his hand in one. Scientists have no idea why they age so quickly. Keep in mind possums have 52 teeth designed to crush bones for a reason. If you are a possum "pet owner" I would really appreciate a more realistic guide or answer as I don't want to hold any species against their will. These animals generally don't fare well in captivity. There is quite a lot of interest about possums as pets. Cannibalism is the consumption of another human's body matter, whether consensual or not. Keep pet food inside. These creatures steal chickens. They are not widely available so you'd either have to find a breeder or get in contact with a specialised pet shop. It may even cuddle and form a relationship with you. I sleep with mine and he has free run of the house. So far he is growing rapidly and seems to be doing well. Diets in captivity cannot hope to match the diversity of the animal's diet in the wild. In 1946, possums were officially declared a pest in the New Zealand environment. Although there are mixed opinions about the issue, you’ll still hear conservationists and the New Zealand government push for possum eradication. What can you do? 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. 1. If you have existing pets (e.g., dog, cat), an opossum may not be a great addition. 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. Opossums will want to climb over everything in your home. The possum is the animal we are discussing in this article, but it is also known as the opossum. This leads to many kind-hearted animal lovers wanting to take the animal in and raise them as a pet. 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. Even though some people to it, more often than not, it turns out bad for the animal. 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. But, is it truly right to keep a possum as a pet? The same goes for keeping possums as pets. Any conditions imposed on permits must be observed. While many consider opossums solitary animals, recent studies have shown them to be more gregarious than previously thought[1]. Because possums are so regularly hit by cars or otherwise killed, there are many orphaned baby possums in the world. Virginia possums run up about £500 each for babies, more for adults. 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. In 1921 the Government made it illegal to bring any more possums to New Zealand. In the wild, the possum is usually docile and will … This simulates what the mother does as an act of hygiene ( she eats the pee and poop } and this keeps the area clean. Possums carry mites, fleas, and ticks that may adversely affect the health of your pets. While the opossum is not generally an aggressive animal, this aspect should not be ignored. Opossums, however, are more commonly referred to simply as possums in the South and Midwest of the USA. Can you keep a possum as a pet NZ? The trap holds the possum, which usually curls up and goes to sleep once it realises it can’t escape. I've even been told that he needs rabies shots? In captivity, they may survive for longer, if proper nutrition and care are received from a qualified handler. Grey possums are more common in … Possums are also a threat to native wildlife such as Kiwis in New Zealand. 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. 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.) 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. An apple hung on a string will encourage the animal to bob for apples. The common brushtail possum, Trichosurus vulpecula, was first introduced to New Zealand from Australia in 1837 to establish a fur trade. This is the same as the necessary socialization process of any domestic animal. 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 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? "I do understand why you aren't allowed to keep them - they are an introduced animal and they do create a lot of damage. 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. Can you keep a possum as a pet? 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. While the opossum is not generally an aggressive animal, this aspect should not be ignored. However, possums come in grey and dark forms and there also are occasional albino animals. But by then, possums were already living in 450 different parts of New Zealand. Possums also have a short lifespan; around three years or less in the wild. In most of the country, it’s "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. It is essential to strike a balance in order to remain healthy. 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. Agriculture. By joining, or logging in via Facebook, you accept Change.org’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Instead, I had to bury him after a long, hard death. Use our trapping best practice to ensure you get the best results. As with any non-domesticated animal, we need to start with a question. Where can I get a permit and do I need to take it to the vet? Then depending on male or female animals you can encounter some very hard to handle behavior. This AnimalWised article explores the possibility of raising possums as pets and whether they should be released once they reach adulthood. This is something important when considering opossums as pets. Can we keep possums as pets? They also have great dexterity, making them able to open drawers, cabinets and other things they shouldn't. Because possums are so regularly hit by cars or otherwise killed, there are many orphaned baby possums in the world. They are not rodents! In our need to be connected to nature, many people are looking to exotic pets to keep in the home. However, making the distinction can help clear up any concerns on what you are dealing with. Contact us for your local agent. Is cannibalism legal in California? Poultry such as ducks and turkeys are also at risk. No person is allowed to keep a possum in captivity as a pet, without the permission of the Minister of Conservation. Their scientific name is Didelphimorphia. "There were some cats playing on the rockery, and then I thought "I don't have that many black cats'.". Thats why hunters rave about feeding possum to … They are found in North, South and Central America, but mainly in the North. By rearing a possum in captivity, you are suppressing their natural instincts. The fur is about 4-6 cm in length with a dense cushioned undercoat. Possums are also prone to disease, death, and infections in captivity. Depending on where you are or who you speak to, there is either a lot or no difference between an opossum and a possum. In general, it is not recommended to keep possums as pets. Pygmy possums are not opossums, but the kind found in Australia we discussed above. To keep the opossum/possum legally, a wildlife rehabilitation permit is needed from the state. They make very poor pets. On the other hand, there are still many advocates for the possum, with some Kiwis keeping possums as pets and others objecting to the methods used to eradicate possums in New Zealand. 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. They seem to know that indoors they have air conditioning, food, and good housing. Posted: (1 days ago) 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. While there may be many examples of wild animals creating bonds with human beings, the circumstances where this happens are unique. Then expect to pay a heck of a lot more than that on a suitable enclosure, diet, toys and furniture for them. Like all marsupials, possums have a pouch, or a marsupium. You may even need to pass a written exam or take a training class to get a permit. Even when confronted with a predator, they will use the infamous "playing possum" technique to appear dead and avoid an actual brawl. Their claws are sharper than a cats & are stronger too. As others have said here, it takes work and dedication to assure their health and well being. 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