Why should I care about Virginia Opossums?

Virginia Opossums (Didelphis virginiana) often get a bad rap, but they can actually be helpful to us and our environment!

But wait, aren’t they dangerous wild animals that can infect me with diseases? Yes, they are wild and they can carry zoonotic diseases, so you should be cautious with them, just like any other wild species. However, opossums are general not aggressive and their prime defense is to “play dead” and avoid confrontation. Additionally, they rarely contract rabies (likely due to their low body temperature) so they are a low risk vector for that disease.

Okay so how can they help me? Opossums can actually help clean up pests in the environment because they are opportunistic scavengers that eat things like cockroaches, crickets, beetles, slugs, snails, snakes, and many others. One very important target for them is ticks, which are a significant vector for Lyme disease. Opossums are very good at finding and killing ticks, thus eliminating a substantial amount of them every season. This is not only helpful to prevent disease in us, but also beneficial for pets and wildlife that can contract Lyme disease or other tick-borne illnesses. Continue reading

Sponsor A Day!

Today we would like to thank Larry Johnson and Mardell O’Brien for their contribution to sponsor the Wildlife Medical Clinic for the day. Their donation is in recognition of the doctors, students, technicians, staff, advancement professionals, and volunteers working to support wildlife in this health crisis. In honor of Mother’s Day, they wanted to appreciate the caring wildlife support team! Their generous donation will help support wildlife such as these lovely mother and baby pairs!
 
🌹Thank you Larry and Mardell! 🌷

How ready for orphaned wildlife are you?

The Wildlife Medical Clinic is typically bustling with baby animals each spring. Sometimes these animals never actually needed to be rescued, however. You can help with that! By being able to tell which babies are safe with mom in their nest and which need our care, you can be their best advocates. Thanks to our knowledgeable community members – like you! – we are able to keep as many baby animals in the wild with their parents, giving them the best chances possible for a long and healthy life.

Take this quiz to make sure you feel ready for the spring rush! Continue reading