The opossum is the only marsupial in North America. This means the animal carries its young in a pouch, much the same as does the Australian kangaroo. Once a female opossum mates, she gives birth a mere 13 days later to a litter of roughly a dozen baby opossums that are each no bigger than a honeybee. These tiny, blind, and naked babies crawl on their own all the way to their mother’s pouch. There they each latch on to a teat from which they receive milk. They remain there for nearly three months.
Once the young opossums leave the pouch, they’re still not ready to face the world on their own. For the next 10 to 15 days they go about clinging to mother’s fur. Eventually they become too heavy to hang on during these trips and one by one fall off. By the time this happens, the young opossum is fully weaned and able to forage for himself.
The opossum is perhaps best known for faking death ("playing possum") as a means of defense when attacked. While he is capable of falling over on his side, his mouth open in a death-like grin with saliva running out, from which state he cannot be roused until the danger is past, this is usually done only as a last resort. More likely a threatened opossum will look for the nearest exit and run away (or more accurately “waddle away,” since they cannot move particularly fast). They will also sometimes bare all 50 of their teeth, hiss, or even growl. With such displays they appear quite fierce, but actually they are not accomplished fighters and are very rarely aggressive.
Call Molter Pest and Wildlife Removal for any opossums you encounter.