Opossums « The City of Lakewood, Ohio -
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Coexisting With Lakewood Wildlife: The Opossum

Meet the opossum, an often misunderstood, but magnificent animal. They are North America’s only marsupial, are resistant to snake venom, and help slow the spread of Lyme disease by eating ticks. Opossums benefit ecosystems beyond eradicating ticks. They catch and eat cockroaches, rats, and mice, and consume dead animals. Gardeners appreciate their appetite for snails, slugs and for cleaning up overripe fruit and berries.

Adult opossums are solitary and nocturnal. They seek shelter underground, in trees or anywhere in between. When frightened or harmed, opossums suddenly freeze and lie still. They have no control over this response and, if left unharmed, a catatonic opossum will recover in a few hours.

Opossums are not aggressive, and they actually make great neighbors. If you’re lucky enough to spot one of these critters, please know they play an important role in keeping our communities cleaner and healthier. With a little tolerance and understanding we can all happily co-exist.