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Opossum: Are They Harmful? – Fashionable Survival On-line

For those who’ve ever gotten a very good take a look at these needle-sharp tooth, I don’t blame you for pondering possums are harmful.

I believe all people, particularly individuals dwelling within the South, have been shocked by them within the night time: hanging out close to the deck or coming out of the trash can.


These beady black eyes, the loud hiss, the flashing white fangs. Sheesh, it is sufficient to give anybody the willies!

However loads of consultants inform us that possums are really not aggressive and actually not harmful. What’s the reality? Are possums really harmful?

No, possums are not harmful to individuals. Though possums have sharp tooth and should generally chew if cornered or dealt with, they’re much more more likely to run for it or feign loss of life.

And there you may have it. Possums actually are the definition of all bark and no chew, and it’s to not say that they’ll’t chew however these animals are genuinely non-aggressive and can sometimes attempt different survival methods when confronted or threatened relatively than attacking.

Nonetheless, possums are frequent, and it’s all however sure you’ll run into one at one level in your life, and perhaps even at shut vary.

Preserve studying, and I’ll let you know all the things you have to learn about human interactions with possums…

Opposum Overview, Temperament and Habitat

Possums are marsupials, and the most important marsupials in North America. In actual fact, the frequent Virginia Possum is the one true opossum present in the USA.

Not like different mammals, possums are nearly fully distinctive, they usually’re often known as dwelling fossils. It isn’t fully true, however there aren’t another animals fairly like them.

Predominantly nocturnal, possums are nomadic they usually transfer from place to put foraging for simple entry to meals and water.

They’ll cling round so long as it’s protected and so long as they’ve lots to eat and drink for them they usually’re younger.

Talking of consuming, possums are acute omnivores, they usually can eat absolutely anything they discover.

They’re infamous for breaking into trash cans, like raccoons, for meals scraps, and likewise climbing as much as fowl feeders to empty them of seeds.

All types of different creatures, together with bugs, birds, reptiles, amphibians, worms, mollusks and extra. And so they eat roadkill!

Additionally like raccoons, possums have extremely dexterous paws which make them wonderful climbers, a capability which is additional assisted by their prehensile tails.

Possums are predominantly solitary, nevertheless it’s not out of the query to see a number of household teams consisting of moms and younger congregating in a protected house with numerous meals to go round.

When confronted or cornered, possums exhibit horrifying risk shows consisting of hissing, clicking, and baring of the tooth.

A chew from a possum, even when approached, is kind of uncommon: what isn’t uncommon is their most well-known habits, taking part in lifeless, generally known as taking part in possum!

A possum that’s taking part in lifeless is definitely participating in an involuntary habits the place the animal kind of blacks out, curls its lips, begins to foam on the mouth and expels a nasty stench from its anal glands.

It’s attainable that they keep this fashion for a lot of minutes as much as a number of hours earlier than recovering, no worse for the wear and tear.

Hopefully, no matter was bothering the poor factor thinks it’s too nasty and pitiful to take care of throughout that point!

However whilst you ought to by no means assume that any given possum goes to play lifeless as a substitute of chew you, bites from possums are in actual fact fairly uncommon.

Do Opposums Shield Their Territory?

No, not from individuals or bigger animals. Possums know they’re very low on the meals chain and act accordingly, however generally they get territorial and grouchy if one other possum invades their private house or tries to take over a restricted meals supply.

Do Opposums Act Aggressively Towards Every Different?

Hardly ever. Other than the aforementioned territorial issues or meals possessiveness, possums typically ignore one another or cohabitate peacefully.

Do Opposums Threaten Individuals?

No. Other than a risk show, this can be very uncommon for possums to show real aggression in the direction of individuals.

Any possum that’s hissing or exhibiting its tooth is definitely desperately hoping that you just’ll get frightened and depart it alone. Given half an opportunity, a possum will retreat from you or, if it thinks you’ll assault it, play lifeless.

Have been There Any Recorded Opposum Assaults on Individuals?

Sure, however precise detrimental interactions with people are extraordinarily uncommon. Bites from possums normally solely happen when some silly particular person is making an attempt to deal with the animal, or in instances the place one thing goes flawed after they’ve been trapped.

What Will Trigger an Opposum Assault on Somebody?

Possums look downright horrifying when they’re supplying you with that terrible risk show, however triggering an assault from one is uncommon and troublesome.

The one factor that can reliably get a possum to assault you is extended dealing with assuming they’re aware and never taking part in lifeless.

Any possum that’s burdened from seize or after being cornered may chew in an effort to flee, and it’s hardly out of the query {that a} mom possum will chew to guard her infants.

However even in all these instances, possums are simply not very aggressive even in extremis, and can all the time choose to run away and conceal or feign loss of life relatively than go on the offensive.

Simply How Robust is an Opposum?

For his or her measurement, and contemplating the class of creature that they’re, possums are surprisingly robust.

They’re very ready climbers, and mom possums will be seen scaling timber and fences on a regular basis with eight or 9 infants clinging for pricey life to their backs. Doesn’t appear to sluggish them down within the least!

That being mentioned, in comparison with any human being possums should not robust: we’ve got immense measurement and power benefits over them that can definitely show telling in a scuffle.

Can Opposums Chunk?

Sure, they’ll! A possum’s tooth should not only for present! Possums can and can chew, they usually’re greater than able to inflicting a nasty chew if it comes all the way down to it.

They’ve a number of lengthy, needle-like tooth that gives you a critically nasty puncture wound.

What Does an Opposum Assault Look Like?

Possums don’t actually assault individuals, not in a very offensive method and in the event that they do there’s in all probability one thing flawed with it, like rabies.

A possum may maintain its floor and offer you a very good risk show earlier than lastly biting in the event you shut in, nevertheless it’s extremely unlikely that they will shut the space with you to ship a chew.

Accordingly, in the event you see a possum, make some extent to provide it loads of room and there shouldn’t be any downside.

Alternatively, if a possum is closing the space with you that’s undoubtedly an indicator that one thing could be very flawed and you have to get away from it as rapidly as attainable.

How Do You Reply to an Opposum Assault?

Assuming you’re actively being attacked by a possum, your finest plan of action is to do something which you could to forestall the possum from closing with you and biting you.

The easiest factor you are able to do is solely to run away, as it is best to simply be capable of outpace a possum on flat floor.

If that fails or it isn’t an possibility, use completely any object which you could to maintain it away from you. For those who don’t have something to make use of as a protect, attempt to stomp the possum one good time and that ought to put it out of motion for good.

Bear in mind, you have to keep away from being bitten in any respect prices! If a possum can’t chew you, it could’t damage you.

Will an Opposum Eat a Particular person?!

Sure. Although a possum would by no means assault you with the intention of consuming you (they aren’t predators like that) it’s fully conceivable that ought to a possum discover your lifeless physique they might begin to eat you.

Do not forget that possums are scavengers and tend to eat carrion, and that would come with you.

Can Individuals Catch Ailments from Opposums?

Probably, sure. Possums are identified vectors of assorted illnesses, parasites and different nasty, gribbly stuff you don’t wish to get contaminated with. Salmonella, noticed fever, leptospirosis and toxoplasmosis are all potential infections.

However, fortunately, possums are solely very, very uncommon vectors of the rabies virus. Opposite to fashionable perception, they aren’t the first vector of rabies, however neither are they proof against rabies as another individuals assert.

Because of this, you all the time wish to preserve your distance from possum and keep away from dealing with them even when they’re lifeless.

Likewise, any possum that’s performing very unusually is trigger for concern and it is best to name animal management.

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