What To Do When You Find An Orphaned Opossum

Recently a member of the public brought in three orphaned opossum babies to the HSVC. While we do not take in wildlife, the opossums were briefly under our care until members of the local Ojai Raptor Center were able to pick them up from the shelter.

According to the California Wildlife Center, baby opossums, also known as Joeys, that are seven inches or longer should be left alone if found in the wild unless they are noticeably injured. Smaller Joeys should be taken to your local animal welfare center. In the meantime, there are several actions you can take to provide the baby with the best care to increase its chance of survival.

Wildlife Removal USA says that the best action to increase the chance of survival is to provide the Joey with a safe and warm environment. Placing the opossums in a smaller box, such as a shoebox, will keep them safe from harm until you can bring them to your local animal welfare organization.  Layer a soft fabric, such as a blanket or towel, and a heating source in the box to keep the babies warm. Make sure they feel warm but are not overheated. Be sure to wear gloves when handling wildlife to protect yourself from any fleas or diseases the animal may be carrying.

The Humane Society of Ventura County would like to extend a big thank you to the Ojai Raptor Center for taking in these helpless orphaned babies. We are confident they will receive the care they need in order to be released back into the wild soon.

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