Pygmy possums are not opossums, but the kind found in Australia we discussed above. The common brushtail possum, Trichosurus vulpecula, was first introduced to New Zealand from Australia in 1837 to establish a fur trade. The best way to keep them from visiting is to have tight-fitting lids on garbage cans, not to leave any pet food outside overnight and to remember to pick up any fruit that has fallen from trees. At first, the animal can adapt to living with people. Can you keep a possum as a pet? If you have existing pets (e.g., dog, cat), an opossum may not be a great addition. But, is it truly right to keep a possum as a pet? There are two colour forms of the species - grey and black, with many vari… Need possum removal in your hometown? for more information. It continued to live in the shed and I fed it, then one morning I went down and it had gone. In fact, about 70% of the plants and animals found in NZ can be found nowhere else in the world! Use. A couple of news stories about pests as pets recently caught our attention and while we’re animal lovers too, the council’s focus is on protecting our native species from extinction as they can’t always defend themselves. "But I wouldn't deliberately go out and find a possum to make a pet out of it.". 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? We use minced possum meat in our Lamb and Possum adult dog food as wild caught NZ Possum is an excellent source of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. They do not like to be held captive and will need to seriously bond with a human when they are young if you can expect them to co-habitate peacefully. While the opossum is not generally an aggressive animal, this aspect should not be ignored. Although there are mixed opinions about the issue, you’ll still hear conservationists and the New Zealand government push for possum eradication. This tends to happen after about 1 1/2 to 2 years or when your "pet" is sexually mature. Keep the possum away from horses. It will not pee or poop if you don't do this and will die. In the wild, the possum is usually docile and will … Possums can cause catastrophic dieback, the complete collapse of a forest canopy – especially tree species that possums prefer, such as rātā and kāmahi. opossums and possums aren’t the same animal. We take them outside almost daily to let them forage and get adjusted to nature. "They eat the birds eggs, I have to provide a safe habitat. This is particularly the case with a baby possum as they are indeed vulnerable. HE'S ONE OF VERY FEW IN NEW ZEALAND KEPT AS PETS, PERFECTLY LEGALLY. Some say it is cruel to not "return them to nature"? They are never referred to as an opossum, which is why many call the American kind the opossum and the antipodean variety simply the possum. They are Northland's number one animal pest, according to the Northland Regional Council. Another Kaitaia woman who didn't wish to be named, said she grew up with a young possum after it was found curled up in her father's army coat pocket. Northland Regional Council biosecurity manager Don McKenzie said the council recently posted a warning to social media, after seeing people discuss keeping possums as pets. Use wax tags to find out if you have possums. Possum fur is very soft and luxurious (the reason why they were introduced into NZ). In captivity, they may survive for longer, if proper nutrition and care are received from a qualified handler. Unfortunately, many introduced species, such as possum, are threatening those native species. Catching a live possum can reap a handsome reward. In our need to be connected to nature, many people are looking to exotic pets to keep in the home. It may even cuddle and form a relationship with you. It's an offence to breed, knowingly communicate, exhibit, multiply, propagate, release, or sell a pest except under certain circumstances (see section 52 and section 53 of the Biosecurity Act 1993). This is the same as the necessary socialization process of any domestic animal. A possums size can be little and computer mouse like yet various other types such as the Australian Brush rear can show up to be the dimension of your pet cat. "Northlanders spend a lot of effort trying to get rid of them. Keep in mind possums have 52 teeth designed to crush bones for a reason. While the opossum is not generally an aggressive animal, this aspect should not be ignored. In 1946, possums were officially declared a pest in the New Zealand environment. A possum. "I never pushed the relationship but she would let me stroke her and I would feed her grain twice a day and willow when it started to sprout," Hitchens said. "There were some cats playing on the rockery, and then I thought "I don't have that many black cats'.". The diet is varied including corn and poultry. Possums have natural habits and behaviors they need to carry out. They have to deal with predators and human intrusions. Depending on where you are or who you speak to, there is either a lot or no difference between an opossum and a possum. In North America, opossum and possum describe the same thing, but in Australia the word possum refers to a completely different animal. Possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) were introduced to New Zealand from Australia in 1837 to establish a fur industry. Opossum attacks are rare, but they do take place, which is why having a possum as a pet is not such a good idea. Poor diets can lead to metabolic bone diseases that are expensive to treat and potentially fatal. Others have become reliant on humans to the point that sending them to the wild will mean they have little chance of surviving. This is something important when considering opossums as pets. jeff. Wibowo Djatmiko. Several EU nations halt UK flights, fearing virus variant, Quiz: Morning trivia challenge: December 21, 2020, New Zealand vs Pakistan: Tim Southee stars as Black Caps seal Twenty20 series, Son of former All Black stars at national under-19 cricket tournament, Fear strawberries won't be back next Christmas, fruit growers warn they can't continue, 'You must stay in your state': Victoria shuts out Sydney, sends police to border, Aliens or artists? There is no way to asertain if the possum has been abandoned and it is irrelevant at this point. In addition, opossums are solitary animals and may not get along with other animals. If not, then they may attack you our of frustration or in defense of being locked up. Possum Enrichment. Mine don't seem to support that opinion. The stress of lost freedom, being close to humans … I sleep with mine and he has free run of the house. The possum is the animal we are discussing in this article, but it is also known as the opossum. Use our trapping best practice to ensure you get the best results. They are not on the DWA list either, so a license is not necessary. Possums are also prone to disease, death, and infections in captivity. Black possums predominate in wetter, forested areas, including the Kaimai Range, Te Urewera, Westland, Fiordland and western Southland, and on Stewart Island and Chatham Island. Because possums are so regularly hit by cars or otherwise killed, there are many orphaned baby possums in the world. In most of the country, it’s It is essential to strike a balance in order to remain healthy. First Evidence of Gregarious Denning in Opossums (Didelphimorphia, Didelphidae), with Notes on Their Social Behaviour. In colour it is grey or dark brown on the head, back and tail and white or dirty yellow on the belly. On the other hand, there are still many advocates for the possum, with some Kiwis keeping possums as pets and others objecting to the methods used to eradicate possums in New Zealand. The possum feeds on insects, voles and mice. Temuka woman's beloved pet possum goes missing, Possum punch video 'animal cruelty': Environment Canterbury, SPCA, Luna the baby possum bids farewell to her 'mother' who saved her, Secret possum rescuers: the people who love a hated New Zealand pest. They are quite gentle, as trapper Blake O’Laughlin demonstrates in the photo below by ‘trapping’ his hand in one. As others have said here, it takes work and dedication to assure their health and well being. 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. The damage done by possums costs NZ farmers about $35 million every year. They also seem to enjoy our companionship as they will wander around the house, then climb up on the couch where we are sitting, curl up against us, and take a nap. Opossums are not meant to be kept as pets, and I swear to you it is the most expensive, gut wrenching heart-breaking experience I have suffered thus far. In the wild, the possum is usually docile and will not attack you without confrontation. There are some individuals which have shown docility in front of humans, but not all possums will be the same. Lack of immunity in captivity conditions can lead to bacterial diseases. Also, if you're in Australia its totally illegal to have a brushtail possum as a pet. The possum will likely want to run out of the house, much like many a pet cat. This leads to many kind-hearted animal lovers wanting to take the animal in and raise them as a pet. Breeding Opossum. Posted: (1 days ago) As many posts on r/Opossums will be quick to inform you, possums should only be kept as pets when they require rehabilitative care and couldn’t survive on their own in the wild. We rescued 3 infants whose mother and other siblings were killed on the road when they were about 8 weeks old. The question of whether these animals fare well in captivity remains. If you are a possum "pet owner" I would really appreciate a more realistic guide or answer as I don't want to hold any species against their will. A wild one would tear you to pieces! Thats why hunters rave about feeding possum to … Dangers of a possum infestation. "They make highly intelligent lovely pets, but they can do a lot of damage.". The marsupials compete with native wildlife for food, and eat birds eggs and insects. These pets love to chew on wires and wires so search around to see to it that they are no place near your electric wiring as fires might be caused. Possums are defined as a pest under most regional pest management plans in New Zealand. those that are native to Australia, it is illegal to keep any possum as a pet: thus, the answer is "no" - a possum cannot be a pet. The New Zealand Government spends over $110 million* per year on possum control. It's illegal to keep possums in captivity in Northland but possum lovers say they make "highly intelligent, lovely pets". The same goes for keeping possums as pets. Biology Letters, 11.https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsbl.2015.0307, Click to attach a photo related to your comment. I thought that if I followed the expert advice of possum specialists, I could keep my baby alive and happy. READ MORE: *Temuka woman's beloved pet possum goes missing *Possum punch video 'animal cruelty': Environment Canterbury, SPCA *Luna the baby possum bids farewell to her 'mother' who saved her  *Pet possum safely home after lolly lure  *Secret possum rescuers: the people who love a hated New Zealand pest. It used to meet her at the bus stop after school, and was fed bits of fruit. Poultry such as ducks and turkeys are also at risk. 1. The majority of vets don’t yet have the experience to deal with their health issues. McKenzie said he couldn't say how many cases he had come across, but it was part of his job as a regulator to remind people it's illegal to keep possums as pets. These animals generally don't fare well in captivity. In which states is it legal to have a pet Opossum? Even though some people to it, more often than not, it turns out bad for the animal. I have recently found a possum and it says I need a permit to keep it. They are ment to be wild animals. 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