North American Opossum (Didelphis virginiana)
Petunia and her brother Momo came to the Museum in 2020 as part of a pilot program with the State of Vermont. Orphaned and with deformed hind legs and feet, she would be unable to survive in the wild.
Opossums are the only marsupial native to North America. They originated in South America but have been moving north since the last ice age. Today, opossums are found further north than they would normally be able to survive thanks to human structures and the plentiful food we unwittingly provide. Opossums eat just about anything, from insects and mice to pizza, catfood, vegetables and compost. their delicate ears, bare toes, nose and prehensile tails are all very susceptible to the cold and winter is their biggest killer in Vermont.