You will have to feed every three hours and after each feeding you have to stimulate the genitles to pee and poop. Breath. First Evidence of Gregarious Denning in Opossums (Didelphimorphia, Didelphidae), with Notes on Their Social Behaviour. They also have great dexterity, making them able to open drawers, cabinets and other things they shouldn't. However, making the distinction can help clear up any concerns on what you are dealing with. There are two colour forms of the species - grey and black, with many vari… If it is then captured and contained it is impossible to provide the animal with the quality of life it has learnt to expect. Possum Enrichment. "I do understand why you aren't allowed to keep them - they are an introduced animal and they do create a lot of damage. By joining, or logging in via Facebook, you accept Change.org’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. "There are, however, strict criteria around breeding possums and putting them on public display." Possums are also a threat to native wildlife such as Kiwis in New Zealand. I have recently found a possum and it says I need a permit to keep it. So now we obtain to the great stuff. Opossums and many other wild animals will be attracted to the food, and you may even be putting your pet in danger by causing fights over the food. Possums as Pets: General Guidelines and Tips, Kiwis as Pets: General Guidelines and Tips. The same goes for keeping possums as pets. I work in a wildlife shelter with brushtail possums & can tell you that as babies they are so cute but as they mature become aggressive. In most of the country, it’s Taking a possum out of their natural habitat is essentially cruel and unnecessary. They are Northland's number one animal pest, according to the Northland Regional Council. 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. But it happened to me. We also need to consider kindness. https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsbl.2015.0307, Toucans as Pets: Guidelines and General Tips, Third Eyelid Showing in Cats - Causes and Treatment, Curly Haired Dog Breeds - List and Description, When to Give a Puppy a Bath for the First Time, How to Control a Male Dog Around a Female in Heat, Is my Dog about to Give Birth? for more information. In 1946, possums were officially declared a pest in the New Zealand environment. In fact, about 70% of the plants and animals found in NZ can be found nowhere else in the world! Opossums are not meant to be kept as pets, and I swear to you it is the most expensive, gut wrenching heart-breaking experience I have suffered thus far. So far he is growing rapidly and seems to be doing well. This AnimalWised article explores the possibility of raising possums as pets and whether they should be released once they reach adulthood. opossums and possums aren’t the same animal. The New Zealand Government spends over $110 million* per year on possum control. Poor diets can lead to metabolic bone diseases that are expensive to treat and potentially fatal. ... No pet possum either. The tips provided in this article are the ones used to help care for sick or injured possums. So they work out to be pretty beneficial for combating household pests. "Northlanders spend a lot of effort trying to get rid of them. I sleep with mine and he has free run of the house. Transforming a possum into a pet can be an expensive proposition and one fraught with dangers for these animals. Possums as Pets: General Guidelines and Tips. 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. "She died half-way through bringing up her last but it was well developed and certainly able to survive. Take a look at our article whether Possums dangerous for humans or pets? Where can I get a permit and do I need to take it to the vet? In which states is it legal to have a pet Opossum? Possums can cause catastrophic dieback, the complete collapse of a forest canopy – especially tree species that possums prefer, such as rātā and kāmahi. Words & images: Sheryn Dean Trappers use a soft leg-hold trap to catch possums. Diego Astúa, R., et al. "If another one turned up like she did, I would feed it - it's almost a compliment to have a wild animal stay there. Possums have a voracious appetite for our native trees and plants. Purchase a humane possum trap. 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. Some animals are simply not healthy enough to ever return to the wild. In North America, opossum and possum describe the same thing, but in Australia the word possum refers to a completely different animal. It eats a wide variety of food on its nightly rounds. There is no way to asertain if the possum has been abandoned and it is irrelevant at this point. Black possums predominate in wetter, forested areas, including the Kaimai Range, Te Urewera, Westland, Fiordland and western Southland, and on Stewart Island and Chatham Island. The English word ‘possum’ was first used for this opossum variety. 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. Pygmy possums are not opossums, but the kind found in Australia we discussed above. 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. This article is about Opossums, not Possums... Its the same animal, you idiot. They are found in North, South and Central America, but mainly in the North. In 1921 the Government made it illegal to bring any more possums to New Zealand. HE'S ONE OF VERY FEW IN NEW ZEALAND KEPT AS PETS, PERFECTLY LEGALLY. Once healthy, rehabilitated possums should be released into the wild where possible. What occurs will depend on the individual animal. If you want to read similar articles to Possums as Pets: General Guidelines and Tips, we recommend you visit our Basic care category. However. In colour it is grey or dark brown on the head, back and tail and white or dirty yellow on the belly. I loved him dearly and it broke my heart. Possums are defined as a pest under most regional pest management plans in New Zealand. 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. Sometimes, an orphaned possum may be found abandoned. The possum has a thick, bushy tail, thick body fur, a pointed snout and large, pointed ears. "There were some cats playing on the rockery, and then I thought "I don't have that many black cats'.". Opossum attacks are rare, but they do take place, which is why having a possum as a pet is not such a good idea. In captivity, they may survive for longer, if proper nutrition and care are received from a qualified handler. Don't Edit. They eat the berries and flowers that are food for our native birds and insects. "They make highly intelligent lovely pets, but they can do a lot of damage.". 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. Use. By rearing a possum in captivity, you are suppressing their natural instincts. Can you keep a possum as a pet? Can you keep a possum as a pet NZ? Possums are established over more than 90% of New Zealand and are a very serious problem. It may even cuddle and form a relationship with you. Northland Regional Council biosecurity manager Don McKenzie said the council recently posted a warning to social media, after seeing people discuss keeping possums as pets. 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. The possum is a beautiful animal, but there are many specific concerns regarding keeping them as a pet. Wildlife rehabilitators are people who dedicate their lives (or at least large parts of them) to helping wild animals in trouble. Once they are old enough to survive independently, healthy possums can and should be released. Unfortunately, many introduced species, such as possum, are threatening those native species. Others have become reliant on humans to the point that sending them to the wild will mean they have little chance of surviving. 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.) The fur is about 4-6 cm in length with a dense cushioned undercoat. The worst part about keeping an opossum for a pet is that they don't have a long lifespan..... Other than that they make Awesome pets! Omega Pet Food Product Background. Thankssss. What can you do? While the opossum is not generally an aggressive animal, this aspect should not be ignored. Use our trapping best practice to ensure you get the best results. The disease is endemic in possums across about 38% of New Zealand (known as 'vector risk areas'). 1. Based on your description of size, open eyes and behaviour it is at least 8 weeks old. Learn more about possums as pets in terms of their advantages and disadvantages. "They eat the birds eggs, I have to provide a safe habitat. Their claws are sharper than a cats & are stronger too. A native of Australia, the possum was introduced into New Zealand between 1837 and 1840 to establish a fur industry. Opossums will want to climb over everything in your home. While many consider opossums solitary animals, recent studies have shown them to be more gregarious than previously thought[1]. It is essential to strike a balance in order to remain healthy. Opossums cannot suckle so you have to feed it with a seringe. "But I wouldn't deliberately go out and find a possum to make a pet out of it.". Even though some people to it, more often than not, it turns out bad for the animal. In these areas, nearly 70% of new herd infections can be traced back to possums or ferrets. Provide lots of “escape routes” for possums to get away from dogs – trees and sturdy trellis leading up to high walls and rooftops provide such routes. It's illegal to keep possums in captivity in Northland but possum lovers say they make "highly intelligent, lovely pets". Keep the possum away from horses. Permits must be obtained before trapping possums. If you don't have the dedication and time commitment it takes to raise an opossum, find a wild life rehabber ASAP. (2015). Their scientific name is Didelphimorphia. Symptoms of Labor, Teaching a Child to Care for a Pet: Guidelines and Tips, Caring for Puppy Dogs: Guidelines and Tips, How to Get a Dog to Sleep - Tips and Home Remedies, How to Take Care of a Short-Haired Guinea Pig. But by then, possums were already living in 450 different parts of New Zealand. In general, it is not recommended to keep possums as pets. Fish and Wildlife Service Opossums can carry parasites that affect horses and birds. dawsonfurs@callplus.net.nz. Agriculture. Pests in terms of the diseases they spread to people and pets include TB, leptospirosis, coccidiosis, tularemia, spotted fever and other diseases. They rarely last more than a year or two because they are food for other animals. Grey possums are more common in … You must have a permit to capture, release or kill a possum. Then expect to pay a heck of a lot more than that on a suitable enclosure, diet, toys and furniture for them. If not, then they may attack you our of frustration or in defense of being locked up. Domestication is a process which takes centuries. Mysterious metal monolith pops up in Christchurch, the latest home to the global phenomenon, Mystery surrounds boat ordered to leave Fiordland, Questions raised after police officers stop youths to take their photos. 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? Do not litter train them if they can be. The average density in the North Island is equivalent to four possums per hectare, but can reach 25 animals per hectare on pasture bordering areas of native forest and shrubland. The opossum is an omnivore. The trap holds the possum, which usually curls up and goes to sleep once it realises it can’t escape. Contact us for your local agent. They seem to know that indoors they have air conditioning, food, and good housing. Is cannibalism legal in California? Because possums are so regularly hit by cars or otherwise killed, there are many orphaned baby possums in the world. 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. In the southern rātā–kāmahi forests of Westland, many valleys lost more than 50% of canopy trees within 15–20 years of possums arriving. Possums also have a short lifespan; around three years or less in the wild. 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