What Do You Do When You Find A Dead Possum?

Do opossums play dead when they are in danger?

Playing dead is an involuntary response on the part of the opossum.

The stress of the confrontation facing the opossum causes him to go into shock.

This shock induces a comatose state that can last from 40 minutes to four hours..

Do possums attack humans?

“Possums normally shy away from people so it’s unusual for there to be a confrontation with people,” he said.

What animals survive dead?

The animal most commonly associated with playing dead is the opossum. In fact, the act of playing dead is sometimes referred to as “playing possum”. When under a threat, opossums can go into shock. Their heart rate and breathing is reduced as they fall unconscious and become stiff.

Where do possums go during the day?

During the day, possums sleep in dens—in thickets of gorse, flax and scrub, among the roots of trees, in dead trunks and logs, in the burrows of other animals (such as kiwi) and even in the ceilings of buildings.

How long will an opossum play dead?

40 minutes to four hoursIt is much more likely that the opossum will faint or “play dead” at the prospect of a confrontation. This physiological response is involuntary and automatic. The stress and shock of the encounter actually triggers a comatose state that can last anywhere from 40 minutes to four hours.

How do you scare a possum away?

Set up motion-activated sprinklers or lights. These tend to startle them just enough so they want to leave the said area. You could also leave some cat/dog hair to cover the area with a predator scent that will let the scavenging pest know they might be threatened. Did you know possums hate the smell of garlic?

Which animal plays dead in danger?

Virginia opossumIn mammals, the Virginia opossum is perhaps the best known example of defensive thanatosis. “Playing possum” is an idiomatic phrase which means “pretending to be dead”. It comes from a characteristic of the Virginia opossum, which is famous for pretending to be dead when threatened.

What attracts possums to your house?

They are attracted to overflowing or odorous trash cans, uncovered compost heaps or other containers that you may have outside. They like to set up their habitat near water or moist areas. If you live near a pond, drainage ditch or sewer, you’re more likely to see opossums on your property.

Will possums attack?

In general, opossums are docile, non-aggressive animals and will not attack your pets. They prefer to escape and avoid confrontations, if possible. If not, the threatened opossum may “play ‘possum”, show its teeth, or bite in self-defense, as any animal would.

Do possums breathe when playing dead?

Its body goes limp, its breathing appears to stop, and its tongue sticks out, but it’s not merely pretending… Opossums don’t actually play dead when they’re threatened. … Its body goes limp, its breathing appears to stop, it discharges its bowels, its tongue sticks out, and it drools.

Can a possum kill a cat?

In theory, a possum can kill a house cat. But it is extremely rare. In fact, cats, both stray cats and even pet cats, kill a far larger number of opossums, especially the young opossums, which aren’t much different in size or appearance than a rat! Of course cats kill opossums.

What’s the difference between a possum and an opossum?

Here’s a tip: Opossums and possums are different animals. Opossums live in North America, while possums live in Australia and other countries. Both animals are marsupials, but possums are more closely related to kangaroos.

What scent keeps possums away?

Ammonia and garlic are scents that possums tend to flee from. If using ammonia, pour a small amount of ammonia into a coffee can with a lid.

Do possums eat cats?

Fortunately, possums are not out looking for your cat when they scrounge for food. While possums (technically opossums, but more commonly referred to by their shortened name) are omnivores and could theoretically kill and eat a housecat or dog, these common backyard visitors are more focused on easier prey.

Can a possum freeze to death?

As animals that originated in the Tropics, opossums can’t bulk up with subcutaneous fat as well as raccoons and other North American mammals, so they are in danger of freezing when temperatures dip below 19 degrees Fahrenheit. … So it has to just sit in its den and burn energy.” Too many such nights and the animal dies.

What to do if you find a possum in your backyard?

Leave the opossum alone and enjoy watching wildlife in your own backyard. However, if the opossum is injured or an orphan (less than 7 inches from nose to rump) then contact the Opossum Society of the United States, a local wildlife rehabilitator, a veterinarian, or your local animal shelter for help.

How do I know if a possum is really dead?

If the opossum is still breathing or warm to the touch, it is alive. If it is playing dead, it will actually be in a mock paralysis state, leaving it mostly safe to move.