If you find a dead mother opossum with babies in her pouch, use gloves and an old sweatshirt and place her, with her babies, into a box and call NWRI. Baby opossums that are 7" from nose to rump do not need to be rescued. If you find one baby opossum (or a dead mother) be sure to look around for more babies that may be hiding.
The presence of an opossum in your yard is not cause for alarm, as they are not aggressive animals. These animals are scavengers with a diet of insects, road kill, rodents, and a variety of plants, and human byproducts, such as birdseed and garbage.
If a baby animal is injured, it will need our help. Click here for instructions on how to get it to NWRI.
Any baby opossum wandering alone, particularly during the day, and weighing less than 1 pound (about the size of a soda can, not including its tail), will need help. Please get it to NWRI.
Baby opossums that are larger than a soda can and are otherwise healthy should be left alone.
Any opossum that is obviously injured or ill needs to be rescued. You can tell one is injured or ill if it is:
- Missing its hair
- Cold and still
- Covered in flies and/or maggots
- Has open wounds or a fractured limb
- Cannot use one or more of its legs
Opossums first line of defense is often to "play dead." This means that sometimes you can catch a healthy adult opossum. If the only sign that an adult opossum is ill is that it is not running away, leave the area and give it time to move on on its own. If it doesn't, you can then rescue it.