Whether you spell it possum or opossum, once these nocturnal marsupials are born, they stay in their mother’s pouch until they’re six to eight weeks old. After that, the babies climb to their mom’s back and hang out there for a few months before stepping down to explore the world. But one little joey didn’t have the safety of her mother’s pouch to bring her up. All alone in the mountains of Mexico at only a week old, baby Kua needed help.
And lucky for her, help was hiking down the mountain, with no idea what they were about to discover.
Finding the Baby
Proud parents Valeria and Santiago never expected to rescue a possum, but when they saw Kua on that mountain with no mom in sight and a deceased sibling beside her, the couple had to do something.
“She was so tiny she could fit in our hands,” Valeria shared in a video tale about Kua.
The couple bundled the little possum up and took her home. And though they spent their first few hours with Kua shocked, Santiago and Valeria knew warmth was vital to the joey’s survival. In building a nest, Valeria shared, “I even included a teddy bear, and she thought that it was the mom, so she would fall asleep under the teddy bear.”
After a conversation with a wildlife expert in their area, the couple learned there was no rehabilitation center for a possum nearby because they’re often thought of as pests. But Kua was no pest and had already stolen her new parents’ hearts.
Feedings with a specially mixed formula came every few hours, and as Valeria shared, “We didn’t sleep for a month and a half to make sure that she would survive.”
“We were exhausted,” said Valeria. “We couldn’t even talk. But after that it bought us together.”
Watching Kua grow stronger every day was a joy for Valeria and Santiago. And as she grew, her “playful, rebellious” spirit bloomed.
All Grown Up
Now, Kua is all grown up and one spoiled possum!
She loves warm baths, her cozy hanging cave, and eating bugs while she plays in the garden. The kisses and cuddles she gets from her parents are pretty wonderful too! And being a girl of gratitude, Kua enjoys giving them lots of kisses in return. Which brings a question to this writer’s mind; do possum kisses feel rough like feline sandpaper kisses or soft like a puppy tongue?
What To Do If You Find A Baby Possum
But there are some things Kua and Valeria want people to know about possums. First, possums aren’t really meant to be pets and should be left in the wild.
“Opossums are wildlife. They are NOT pets,” said Valeria. “Please don’t go looking for opossums in the wild or taking them away from their mothers.”
But in a case like Kua’s, things are different.
“Our case was different and very unique,” explained Valeria. “We found Kua alone, as a week old baby, stranded, dehydrated and struggling to survive, next to her dead sibling. No mother around.”
She needed help, and as there was no wildlife center that could care for Kua, Valeria and Santiago stepped up and delivered the specialized and excellent care that helped Kua survive.
So, what should you do if you find a possum in need of help? Valeria has advice.
“DON’T kill it or harm it, please. Opossums are NOT plagues. They are actually very crucial to nature. Call a wildlife center immediately, and take it there.”
If there isn’t a wildlife rehab in your area, “contact a wildlife expert.” Learn how you can avoid causing issues for possums and other creatures like Kua with 5 Ways You And Your Dog May Be Harming Wildlife.
Feature Image: The Dodo/YouTube