Orphaned Opossum Rescued By Woman Refuses To Be Released Back Into The Wild
After losing their mom to a vehicle accident and a dog attack, the three newborn opossums were orphans.
Opossum rehabilitator Sheri Kassalias, who is also a dog rescuer, decided to foster the three of them – to bring them back to health, and look after them until they were old and independent enough to be let go back into their natural habitat.
Two of the little ones went along with this approach perfectly. They were happy to be nursed back to health – and even more pleased to be released. but the last one had other plans.
“Opie was so sweet he demanded to be held. He climbed up my sleeve,” Kassalias shared.
Opie actually started licking and grooming Sheri, a cat-like habit known as “slubbing.” Some other rehabilitator advised her that Opie was a “one in a million” opossum, because of his amiability and how attached he was to her.
The rescuer told her that she would either need to permanently eliminate all connections with Opie, in order to make him releasable – or simply agree to keeping him for good.
”So here we are almost two years later,” says Sheri.
Opie has become a member of the family, sharing a place in South Carolina with Kassalias and her spouse, and also a 14-year-old pit bull, a senior Boston terrier, a 25-year-old tortoise called Bubba as well as a foster pup.