It's good to be alert when you see one of these guys out in the
daytime, but it's not by iteself cause for serious alarm.
Possums, like raccoons and skunks, are largely but not
exclusively nocturnal. Perfectly healthy ones are sometimes out
and about even in the middle of the day. There are also lots of
illnesses and conditions other than rabies that can weaken one of
these animals and cause it to spend more time searching for food
during daylight than usual.
Be cautious, keep yourself, your kids and your pets away from it
and watch it for signs of rabies or distemper-- excessive
salivating, poor condition generally, lack of fear of humans
and/or unusually aggressive, and most alarmingly if it's actually
staggering. And if you or a pet comes in contact with it, go get
yourself rabies shots right away just in case. Rabies is
incurable and essentially 100 percent fatal once symptoms appear,
and it's a horrible way to go.
Find out what the procedures are where you live for dealing with
a possibly rabid animal, whether there's an animal control
officer you should call or shoot it yourself if it's showing
signs of rabies.
But if it's just wandering around in the daytime once in a while
and otherwise behaving normally, odds are high it's OK.
(founding member of Arlington MA town rabies advisory committee
once upon a time years ago, after town authorities completely
bungled handling a death struggle between two rabid skunks
literally on my front doorstep...)
MARIE/KEVIN HEMEON wrote:
> If it is early am it could be a hold out. Otherwise I'd watch out as it is most likely rabid. Was it the middle of the day? Kevin
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Mary-C. Marro<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
> To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Saturday, December 08, 2007 2:41 PM
> Subject: [VTBIRD] My backyard
> Since I usually go to work and return home when it's dark, Saturday brought a
> couple of wonders: daylight all around me, a carolina wren and an opossum
> (aren't they nocturnal??) at the bird feeder.
> Check out AOL's list of 2007's
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