The perils and advantages of Birmingham urban wildlife – opossums

That was some “funky” smell in my garage this morning…. walked over to see if I had left something in my garbage can that hard spoiled (like milk or eggs) and there she was staring right back at me. A opossum.  And yes… I jumped!

A Southside Birmingham  opossum

Ahh, the perils of urban wildlife.

Meanwhile, after I composed myself, I gently lowered the garbage can down on it’s side.  Out scurried the opossum, and it was a mommy with babies tucked into her pouch.

After she was safely on her way, and left our alley, I looked up a few facts about the new family in my neighborhood.  A couple of tidbits that stood out:

An individual possum can eat 4,000 ticks in a single week, cutting down on infectious diseases like Lyme disease.

Opossums are pre-historic critters that date back to the dinosaurs and they rarely have rabies.

I also checked out this video with possum facts.

There definitely are some  advantages to opossums in the our urban environment. Welcome to the neighborhood!  Now about that smell….

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Pat Byington
Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.
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