Monday, June 30, 2008

Baby Possum Plays Dead

This half-grown (and still cute) possum was playing dead on the Rec Path near Wesley Drive. I nearly stepped on him and instantly thought, "Gross, a dead animal right on the trail." Followed by, "Wait a minute...that's a possum .."

It was dusk and there were lots of fireworks in the neighborhood - maybe that spooked him. Possums don't actually "play" dead - it's more like they go into shock easily. I nudged him with a stick and he "grinned", showing off his teeth. It seemed like he was maybe coming out of his 'coma'. When I touched a ticklish spot, his hind leg moved up to scratch his ear like a dog.

I used sticks to move him off the trail before I left so no bikers would run him over. About 20 minutes later I brought my daughter back to show her. By this time it was pretty dark, but the possum was right where I left him. See the YouTube video - He seemed a lot more "dead" in the video, I think because of our flashlight shining in his eyes.

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