We had a possum sneak across our fence in the daylight a few days ago. My neighbor was worried it might have rabies. Opossums don’t tend to come down with hydrophobia, though. That’s not saying they can’t get it, just that it’s rare. Scientists think possum’s body temperatures are too low for the disease to thrive. Instead of rabies, it’s more likely that our nocturnal friend was roused from its hidey-hole by one of our neighborhood dogs.
I think this guy was on the verge of playing possum. He looked like he might fall out at any minute. We kept a safe distance, so this involuntary reaction to danger wouldn’t kick in. There’d have been no convincing my neighbor it didn’t have rabies if the poor little fella had fallen over and started drooling!
Once we stepped back inside, the possum crept away. I feel a little better knowing he’s out behind the house somewhere eating ticks, which diminishes the instances of both Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease. It doesn’t hurt that he’s immune to snake venom and eats venomous snakes when he comes across them either.
Have you ever spotted a possum out during the day?
**The information contained in the Not Playing Possum post came from several websites including, National Geographic, animaldiversity.org, and the National Wildlife Foundation.