baavgai: (Default)
( Apr. 20th, 2010 12:11 pm)
Upon leaving the house this morning, I saw a flash of fur bolt behind the garage. It had the ugly salt and pepper hair of a possum, but I didn't see the tell tale rat tail as it bolted. It's choice of escape route was poor; that side is a dead end. There was enough room that I didn't think it would feel cornered if I took a peek. Cornering any critter is asking for it and those giant rats have wicked claws.

As I considered taking a look, I heard this sound like a very small engine trying to start. It was rough and rolling and repetative and I've honestly heard nothing quite like it. I thought it might be the beast behind the garage, warning me off. After just a couple steps, I spotted the source.

It's hard to give a real sense of just how tiny this thing was:

Looks like a possum baby. Crying it's little heart out. I looked around the corner. Mommy was all the way in back. She tried to hide more when she saw me. Damn possums, I expected her to try to ravage me to save her young. I was kind of disappointed. While generally harmless and kind of cowardly, they can be mean when mad. I expected more.

I went back to look at the little guy:

Turns out possums, technically opossums, are the only marsupial found in the continental US. Mommy apparently keeps the kids around beyond pouch size, which I'm guessing this guy is. It felt bad for it, but this pic was as close as I dared get. I left as quickly as I could, hoping mommy would return when she knew I was gone.
The bad news is that opossum mommy abandoned her child. The good news is that the poor little thing didn't wander far.

Opossum foundlings need warmth and water. I couldn't convince it to drink, but it stopped shaking after I held it for a bit:
wee rodent

Scary big head on the thing, more like a reptile than a mammal. Maybe a gecko, which I have had try to bite me. I was glad it wasn't pissed off. I tried to get some water on my finger in. I really needed eye dropper.

[ profile] loosecanon, a far nicer person than I, is currently on a five hour round trip to deliver the little orphan to a rescue shelter. It's in a cat carrier with a sacrificial towel and some hot hands. Last I saw it, it was snuggled into to folds of the towel. Damn, it's cute.


baavgai: (Default)


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