There are some animals in life that are just too annoying. Opossums and raccoons are both in this category. I mean why do raccoons have the nickname of trash pandas? Because they are the worst, they are slimy and who wants to cuddle with either opossums or raccoons?
Well apparently Sheri Kassalias is a special human being because she actually specializes in rehabilitating opossums. I don’t know how you find yourself in that job, but let’s find out more!
This story starts off with three opossums actually, one that came in from a dog attack and two others that lost their mother to a car accident. That’s when Kassalias said she would take care of the trio and get them back to the wild.
Two of the three were very down with that plan. The third, who was named Opie, had a different idea.
Kassalias was talking to The Dodo and said, “Opie was so sweet he demanded to be held. He climbed up my sleeve.”
Uh oh we have a clingy opossum on our hands it looks like!
She had never seen an opossum like this and knew she had two options. She could sever all contact with Opie to make him releasable or adopt him and never let go!
Kassalias then said, “So here we are almost two years later.” So you can see what option she went with.
The two have made South Carolina home with her husband and along with an older Boston terrier, a 25-year-old tortoise named Bubba and another foster dog. It’s not a zoo but it definitely sounds like a fun sitcom!
Everyone gets along and get taken to all the normal events like pictures with Santa! I don’t know about you but if I was that Santa I’d pass on that picture.
Other than hanging with Santa, Opie has other things to do, like educate kids about animals like him.
Opie travels around to schools and elsewhere to teach people about opossums. He’s been registered with the USDA and who knew this was even a thing?!
Some fun facts about Opie’s kind?
– Opossums are mostly immune to rabies
– Opossums have superpowers against snakes. They have partial or total immunity to the venom produced by rattlesnakes, cottonmouths and other pit vipers
– They have opposable “thumbs.” Only primates and opossums have them!
Kassalias also went onto explain that opossums are really not that bad. People just think they are ugly and scary and think they are bad critters. They will eat pests from your lawn, not dig it up and won’t crawl to your attic.
“[They] appreciate an abandoned hole under a tree log, a spot in the back of the garage or an open area to your basement. I love that they give back to nature instead of taking from it. They are gentle even when injured.”
Opie just celebrated his birthday and it was a bittersweet moment due to opossums short lifespans. Kassalias remarked positively though:
“Regardless of how much time I have left with him, I know I have done absolutely everything in my power. If his longevity was based on love, he would live to be 100.”