Despite being subjected to some hilarious memes, opossums are usually not very favored animals amongst people. People typically view them as pests, which maintain breaking into their trash cans for a fast snack and hisses at them when caught red-handed. According to a consultant for the Opossum Awareness & Advocacy this notion is altering, but there are nonetheless some situations of violent conduct in direction of these animals on account of misinformation. “Different people view opossums in different ways and the perception is changing, but historically many believed opossums were giant rodents that spread rabies, due to the fact they do like a bit like rats (especially their tails). Historically people would kill them as pests and also eat them. There are several areas where people still do kill them and see them as pests. Some people see them as pests due to the fact that opossums seek warmth in the colder months and can make homes in basements and attics. Many horse owners hate opossums due to the fact that they are capable of carrying a virus that can kill horses. Not all opossums carry this virus. They need to contract it by eating another creature that has the virus. They spread the virus to horses by their urine or excrement (if the horse eats food/grass contaminated by the infected opossum urine/poop then they can become sick and it’s sometimes deadly). So there are some horse owners who kill opossums on sight. Others do not and just take precautions to keep opossums away from anything their horses might eat,” they mentioned.
Clearly, there’s most likely no must name animal management (or worse) every time a gang of those critters visits your backyard. In reality, they do much more good than you most likely suppose. Opossums are the unsung heroes who’re accountable for silently decreasing Lyme illness and different tick-borne diseases, not solely in different animals but additionally in people. How do they try this? Well, it seems their favourite snack is just not a leftover meal out of your rubbish bin. They choose to eat ticks and it’s estimated that they eat 5000 of them per season.
Recently, a path digital camera captured a heartwarming second between an opossum and a deer
Recently, Vermont Wildlife Coalition shared a heartwarming snap proving how useful opossums are at eradicating ticks. Captured by a path digital camera, the picture exhibits an opossum consuming ticks straight off of a deer’s face. The picture, which rapidly went viral, completely demonstrates a symbiotic relationship between two completely different species, who discovered to co-exist and assist one another out.
Image credit: ramendan
It additionally highlights that opossums are tasked with one thing crucial — they’re nature’s ‘cleaners’. Not solely do these nocturnal animals fight ticks, however additionally they eradicate pests similar to mice (which additionally unfold infectious illnesses similar to Lyme), snakes, slugs and backyard pests. And in case you ever thought that they’re soiled and gross, you couldn’t be extra improper. These critters groom and clear themselves as a lot as cats do. Also, they normally can’t contract or unfold rabies on account of their very low physique temperature.
Image credit: James Gates
While they fight their greatest to look intimidating, they’re fairly simply frightened. They are likely to play lifeless, hiss and even faint after they’re scared. They are additionally fairly cute. However, being wild creatures, they typically carry fleas, parasites, and even illnesses. So it’s greatest to depart them alone in case you get an opportunity to come across them. With that in thoughts, it’s greatest suggested to not maintain them as pets, as it’s even unlawful in lots of states to take action.
Image credit: Tony Alter
The consultant sums up all the optimistic sides of opossums:
“A. They eat 1000’s of ticks every season. Seasons range relying on the place one lives. In winter when ticks are dormant within the north the place it is rather chilly, opossums wouldn’t be killing them .
B. It’s nearly not possible for opossums to contract rabies on account of their decrease than regular blood/physique temperature.
C. Opossum is nearly impervious to toxic snake bites and in addition can kill these snakes, making the world a bit safer of toxic snakes. Scientists have additionally used opossum blood to create injections to save lots of individuals after they’ve been bitten by toxic snakes.
D. Opossum kills extra than simply dangerous ticks and snakes, they’re primarily nature’s pest management and eat mice, slugs and different issues we people think about pests.
E. They are the USA and Canada’s solely marsupial.
F. They are cute
G. It’s cool to see a mom opossum carrying her infants round on her again.”
Image credit: born1945
The Opossum Awareness & Advocacy consultant has informed us that people are inflicting these animals nice hurt by ruining their pure habitat and being misinformed about them. “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. They deserve a public apology by many people and organizations that have harmed and maligned them in the past,” they mentioned.
If you’d prefer to assist the reason for serving to opossums be happy to purchase merchandise from the Opossum Awareness & Advocacy retailer.
Image credit: Kathy
Speaking of opossums’ favourite snack, ticks are sometimes encountered in a moist, wooded, bushy setting the place they patiently watch for unsuspecting hosts similar to mice, deer and different mammals together with people. These blood-sucking bugs are most likely the one transmitters of Lyme illness. Each yr, round 14,00zero people contract Lyme illness within the US. The first signs of this illness typically resemble the flu and are generally adopted by a slowly-spreading bull’s-eye-shaped rash the place the tick hooked up. While the illness isn’t deadly, it will probably trigger such debilitating well being issues as facial paralysis, coronary heart palpitations, arthritis, extreme complications, and neurological problems.