Opossums are incredible animals and are often misunderstood. They are the only marsupial (pouched) animals in North America. They have opposable thumbs on their back feet, and their feet are distinctively black on top with pink toes. They have a rat-like tail that is prehensile that is used primarily for balancing (and not for hanging as portrayed in Disney movies). They are omnivores and will eat most anything they come across making them integral parts of our ecosystem. Imagine what your neighborhood would be like without the benefit of the opossum....they eat bugs, rodents, snakes, garbage, carrion, etc! Opossums generally get a bad rap for their appearance, but they are actually pretty cool animals. They are solitary, nomadic animals that prefer to waddle from place to place minding their own business. They aren't good fighters, but if cornered they will show you their fifty teeth, growl, drool and look pretty ferocious. However, when pressed, most will try to run away or will faint. Known for playing dead, opossums actually faint...a physiological response to fear.

The Kentucky Wildlife Center gets in a lot of orphan opossums....many from mothers who have been killed by cars but their babies were still alive in their pouch.


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Kentucky Wildlife Center
5423 Leestown Rd
Lexington, KY 40511
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