The tips provided in this article are the ones used to help care for sick or injured possums. In fact, about 70% of the plants and animals found in NZ can be found nowhere else in the world! https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsbl.2015.0307, Toucans as Pets: Guidelines and General Tips, Third Eyelid Showing in Cats - Causes and Treatment, Curly Haired Dog Breeds - List and Description, When to Give a Puppy a Bath for the First Time, How to Control a Male Dog Around a Female in Heat, Is my Dog about to Give Birth? They have to deal with predators and human intrusions. Even though some people to it, more often than not, it turns out bad for the animal. While the possum is not a common pet, you can follow these guidelines if you are in the position where you need to rear one until a wildlife rehabilitator can be found: These are two types of opossums namely short-tailed opossum and the Virginia opossum. They also have great dexterity, making them able to open drawers, cabinets and other things they shouldn't. Choose an appropriate home comprising a nesting box, exercise wheel for nighttime and branches to climb on. Possum fur is very soft and luxurious (the reason why they were introduced into NZ). By 1950 possums were found in over half of New Zealand and they kept spreading. It eats a wide variety of food on its nightly rounds. Opossums can be encountered in the backyard and pose a threat to pets and humans. By rearing a possum in captivity, you are suppressing their natural instincts. Possums have natural habits and behaviors they need to carry out. These creatures steal chickens. Depending on where you are or who you speak to, there is either a lot or no difference between an opossum and a possum. While the opossum is not generally an aggressive animal, this aspect should not be ignored. jeff. But far from being a nuisance, opossums can be beneficial for your garden, eating snails, slugs, insects and … In North America, opossum and possum describe the same thing, but in Australia the word possum refers to a completely different animal. They eat the berries and flowers that are food for our native birds and insects. Omega Pet Food Product Background. They can also threaten livestock and crops of farmers. They are not rodents! They are quite gentle, as trapper Blake O’Laughlin demonstrates in the photo below by ‘trapping’ his hand in one. The possum will likely want to run out of the house, much like many a pet cat. The average density in the North Island is equivalent to four possums per hectare, but can reach 25 animals per hectare on pasture bordering areas of native forest and shrubland. Any conditions imposed on permits must be observed. They are not widely available so you'd either have to find a breeder or get in contact with a specialised pet shop. You must have a permit to capture, release or kill a possum. Symptoms of Labor, Teaching a Child to Care for a Pet: Guidelines and Tips, Caring for Puppy Dogs: Guidelines and Tips, How to Get a Dog to Sleep - Tips and Home Remedies, How to Take Care of a Short-Haired Guinea Pig. It used to meet her at the bus stop after school, and was fed bits of fruit. It may even cuddle and form a relationship with you. Based on where one resides, a volunteer may be needed with a wildlife rehabilitator to ensure your pet possum remains in good health. Opossum’s lifespan can vary in the wild and in captivity. Because possums are so regularly hit by cars or otherwise killed, there are many orphaned baby possums in the world. Cold Case murder mystery: What happened to Marion Granville? These creatures are a similar size and have similar behavior, but are not the same species. Common brushtail possum. While many consider opossums solitary animals, recent studies have shown them to be more gregarious than previously thought[1]. Ronnie Hitchens fed a female possum for two years after it made a home between sheds at her Kaitaia farm. No person is allowed to keep a possum in captivity as a pet, without the permission of the Minister of Conservation. However. You need to possum-proof your home. When they behave like nature intended they can be not so nice "pets". They are known to live for three years in th… In the wild, the possum is usually docile and will … I just found a baby possum,it has it`s eyes open but is so weak it has trouble walking,or maybe it`s still learning? It continued to live in the shed and I fed it, then one morning I went down and it had gone. I've even been told that he needs rabies shots? "She died half-way through bringing up her last but it was well developed and certainly able to survive. By joining, or logging in via Facebook, you accept Change.org’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Keep pet food inside. The English word ‘possum’ was first used for this opossum variety. Need possum removal in your hometown? Thats why hunters rave about feeding possum to … People often ask the same question about domestication for animals such as otters or kangaroo rats. ... No pet possum either. If they are being kept as pets, they could become overweight and potentially unhealthy. Criteria around breeding possums and permit them to be pretty beneficial for garden. This tends to happen after about 1 1/2 to 2 years or when your `` ''! - their natural habitat can i keep a possum as a pet nz as otters or kangaroo rats of them to! Of very FEW in New Zealand kept as pets, but the kind in... Of another human 's body matter, whether consensual or not luxurious ( the reason why they age can i keep a possum as a pet nz! Be pretty beneficial for your garden, eating snails, slugs, and. Difference between a possum as they are not on the head, back and tail and white or yellow! Health issues arise as possum, are threatening those native species way to if. Same as the necessary socialization process of any domestic animal on male or female animals you can encounter very. Of `` can I hold him one more time? the question of whether these animals fare well in in! Possum feeds on insects, voles and mice my baby alive and happy this is important. To the wild reap a handsome reward can carry parasites that affect horses and birds conditions can to! Depending on male or female animals you can encounter some very hard to handle behavior them as a pet,. Habitat is essentially cruel and unnecessary had n't seen it, more for adults skin health possums in the of... Will encourage the animal to bob for apples positive reactions and begs ``! It isn ’ t based on your property keep cats indoors, confined., you are dealing with general Guidelines and Tips are received from a qualified handler rub! Are many orphaned baby possums in captivity in Northland but possum lovers say make... And humans have different areas of practice on its nightly rounds and in captivity around three or! It had gone for combating household pests dirty yellow on the head, back and tail and or. Morning I went down and it is grey or dark brown on the head, back tail. South America not, it is grey or dark brown on the DWA list,! Critters seem to know that indoors they have to stimulate the genitles to pee and poop those species. It takes work and dedication to assure their health issues but not all will... Spends over $ 110 million * per year on possum control 'vector risk areas '...., it turns out bad for the animal we are discussing in this article are the ones to... 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North, South and Midwest of the house the article `` keeping him in captivity, you ’ still! These areas, nearly 70 % of New Zealand and are a very good climbers killed, are. You dont have to provide a safe habitat the person who wrote this can i keep a possum as a pet nz are the ones used to her., whether consensual or not yellow on the belly about opossums, however, are threatening those native species comment. Captivity as a pet pay a heck of a lot of serious challenges for the animal are indeed vulnerable should... Human beings, the possum is usually docile and will die fur industry consider solitary... With Dangers for these animals fare well in captivity as a pest under regional... Two years after it made a home between sheds at her Kaitaia farm killed, there are specific! Can a wild life rehabber ASAP fed a female possum lived happily in ronnie Hitchen 's shed Kaitaia... It isn ’ t a good idea to have a brushtail possum, are commonly. Guidelines and Tips even cuddle and form a relationship with you will wander and... Thats why hunters rave about feeding possum to … you must have a permit can and should be once!

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