Thursday, October 6, 2011

Corralitas Drive: Juvenile Opossum Mocking My Dog

Photo: Diane Edwardson, September 29, 2011, 11:41 PM.  No, that's no a big rat, but a small opossum, about 8-10" long (not counting the tail), with very dark fur. (Click on photo to enlarge.) 

Opossums are just another species who call the urban forest home.  This one was meandering along a fence when my on-leash dog caught scent of it.  A first, I thought it was a huge rat, but then it froze, giving me that opossum ferocious hiss, with its mouth wide open, showing off an impressive set of canine teeth for such a small animal. 

If you walk early mornings on the Red Car Property between Rose Scharlin and Adelbert, you can see their footprints on the path.  The footprints are larger than a squirrel's but a lot smaller than a raccoon's.  

Opossums can transmit certain diseases and parasites to your pets, so be sure to keep your pets' vaccinations up to date and do not let your dogs play with opossums or other wildlife.

Learn more about living with opossums and other urban wildlife on the City's Animal Service's website.