Snickers was a one of 4 baby opossums that came in when their mother was hit by a vehicle and killed. As they started to grow, the four, were split into two groups of two so there would be no fighting or the larger two picking on the smaller ones. Snickers was part of the two smaller babies. After a few months of tube feeding and learning to eat adult food and finally getting to the point of release... I decided to allow one of my beloved volunteer families release snickers and her sister on their family's property. The day before release, while at their home, Snickers somehow hurt her wrist and was favoring it, delaying the release date. They brought her back to be examines and I told then that it was not a big issue, that they could hold onto her and take care of her for the two weeks while she healed up from the sprain since they loved her SO MUCH! Sadly loving an animal can sometimes end up in hurting the animal more than helping it. They were happy to have Snickers be part of their family routine for a few weeks. Along with their dog, Snickers also got a cooked meatball as a treat every day which she very much enjoyed! Unfortunately opossums have a very delicate balance they need for their diet and they need low protein and high calcium. After two weeks, shortly before her new release date... she started "walking funny". As soon as I heard that news I knew what happened... Snickers had metabolic bone disease. A calcium deficiency that effects bones, joints, muscles, heart, etc. It presents in opossums like a severe arthritis; very painful. So she came back to the rehab facility for some intensive treatment to reverse the "MBD". She did great at making a recovery but when consulting other opossum experts they advised NOT to release her since she is already compromised and being a female, if she gets pregnant and has to nurse babies, it will deplete her calcium levels again. Since opossums only have a maximum life expectancy of 4 years (More likely to be 2-3 years) we opted to keep her as an ambassador and she traveled to schools, and other educational facilities to teach about how awesome opossums are as well as the rest of Maine Native Wildlife.
04/29/2021 - We say "Good-Bye" to our beloved Snickers who passed away quietly in her sleep. We knew we were likely nearing the end when the past month she started slowing down, not eating as much yet was otherwise healthy. The final sign was when she stopped ravenously eating her cheese! Glad she lived a spoiled life and impacted many lives.
She was such a good girl, allowing anyone to pet her
Teaching others about wildlife
Just need a 5 minute break from my public
Educating the public
Education is hard work
Loving the interaction with volunteers
Educating kids from K-6th grade
Enjoying some snuggles and some love bites
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