Orphan Alert: A dead or dying opossum on the road may be carrying up to 13 uninjured babies in its pouch. Opossum lovers will check the body of hit-by-car opossums for living infants. If there are infants, immediately take the mother to Native Animal Rescue.
What to do if you find…
1. Always wear gloves when handling opossums.
2. First, establish that the baby opossum needs to be rescued. If the baby looks healthy, it is best to wait and watch for one to two hours before taking action. If there is no sign of the mother, or if the baby is injured or being stalked by a predator, it’s time to bring the baby to Native Animal Rescue.
3. Warm a soft cloth or an old t-shirt in the dryer and place it in the bottom of a box with air holes. Keep the box warm by placing it on a warm towel or on a heating pad set on low.
4. Carefully lift the baby and place it in the box. Make sure the box has a lid so the opossum can’t climb out.
5. Close the box and bring it to Native Animal Rescue following the directions below.
6. If you are uncomfortable handling the baby, call Native Animal Rescue at 831-462-0726.
Injured Adult Opossum
1. Do not handle, feed, or transport the opossum.
2. Contact Native Animal Rescue at 831-462-0726.
3. If you are unable to contact Native Animal Rescue, call Santa Cruz County Animal Services at 831-454-7200. After hours call 831-471-1182.