When we think of opossums, “cute” or “cuddly” aren’t necessarily the first words that come to mind. They are typically known as neighborhood pests who dig through trash and dirt.
But maybe it’s time to change that way of thinking… Because we just discovered the most adorable and kind opossum ever.
Late last year, a man named Greg Swann came to Vermont Wildlife Coalition with the most insane trail cam photo of an opossum quite literally nibbling at ticks on a deer’s face. Talk about a true hero.
“Opossums can eat up to 5000 ticks in a 2-3 month period, and are resistant to rabies due to their low body temperature. Excellent allies in curbing this particular lyme disease vector,” Vermont Wildlife Coalition shared.
“Trappers don’t like them becaue they trigger traps set for coyote and other animals,” they added.
This trail cam photo quickly went viral once it was shared because it won hearts everywhere. It showed that two different species could coexist and even go beyond that — they can show each other respect and help one another out.
The OA&A representative shared some of the benefits of opossums:
“A. They eat thousands of ticks each season. Seasons vary depending on where one lives. In winter when ticks are dormant in the north where it is very cold, opossums would not be killing them.”
“B. It’s almost impossible for opossums to contract rabies due to their lower than normal blood/body temperature.”
“C. Opossum is virtually impervious to poisonous snake bites and also can kill those snakes, making the world a bit safer of poisonous snakes. Scientists have also used opossum blood to create injections to save people after they have been bitten by poisonous snakes.”
“D. Opossum kills more than just harmful ticks and snakes, they are essentially nature’s pest control and eat mice, slugs and other things we humans consider pests.”
“E. They are the USA and Canada’s only marsupial.”
“F. They are cute.”
“G. It’s cool to see a mother opossum carrying her babies around on her back.”
We don’t know about you but these all sound like pretty great reasons to love opossums, if reason F wasn’t enough for you on its own.
Unfortunately, though, humans are harming opossums.
“People can help them by educating themselves and having the real facts on opossums (the good and the bad) and then telling their friends and family and towns about them. In my view, opossums are probably the most misunderstood and underrated animal in the USA,” the representative said.
“They deserve a public apology by many people and organizations that have harmed and maligned them in the past,” they added.
Ticks are no joke. They spread Lyme Disease and cause other problems like arthritis, severe headaches, heart palpitations, neurological disorders and more. So, obviously, it’s pretty great that we have opossums out there working to get rid of them as best they can.
How do you feel about opossums now? Has your perspective changed at all?
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Trail cam snaps photo of an opossum eating ticks off of a willing deer's head! Edit: PHOTO by Greg Swann, who told VWC…
Source: Animal Channel