My daughter and I went to Lake Seminole Park the other day to reminisce a bit. As we were leaving a certain area, Lisa tossed a tissue in the trash can. It was then that she saw something move in the can. She yelled to me, wondering if opossums jumped, because one was in the can. I made light of it, saying that we had a whole family of them in the courtyard behind the hospital. Lisa said, “Mom, I think she is giving birth, right now.”
I grabbed my camera and headed to the trash can. The little lady was not giving birth, but was at the stage where the babies finally start leaving the mamma’s pouch.
You see, a female opossum carries her young approximately two weeks before they are born. Opossums are undeveloped, and tiny (1/15 ounce) at birth. (20 0f them can fit in a teaspoon) The offspring must crawl to a nipple in the mother’s pouch to survive. The nipple will swell in the offspring’s mouth, providing a secure attachment and constant food supply for two months. At about three months of age, young possums emerge from the pouch for short periods and will hitch a ride on the mother’s back to get from place to place. In several days to a week the young leave the “nest” for good.
So we watched these little buggers wiggle and tussle with each other to make their way out of the pouch. Then they would crawl right back in. So, I am guessing that these babies are about 3 months old. Anyway, Momma looked really tired and worn out.