Meet and Greet: Ophelia the Opossum!


Hello and welcome back to Animal Wonders! I’m Jessi and this is Ophelia, the 5 month
old opossum. She’s new around here, but we’re happy
that she came to live with us because she’s a very special little lady. Ophi really likes to snuggle, but she also
likes to go for walks, so let’s go explore a little outside. [CHEERY INTRO MUSIC] You might notice she doesn’t move very fast,
and that’s because Ophi only has 3 legs. When she was a tiny little joey, Ophelia’s
mother was hit and killed by a car, leaving her and her sibling alone in the mother’s
pouch. A wonderful person saw her mother on the side
of the road and stopped to check her pouch. Inside she found Ophelia and her sibling still
alive, so she rushed them to a vet. Ophelia’s sibling was healthy and all they
needed was some food and to grow bigger to go out on their own, but Ophi was a different
story. She had a severely injured back leg that could
not be fixed and needed to be amputated immediately. The surgery was difficult on such a tiny little
baby, but it was successful and soon Ophi was healed up and eating well. As she grew, her caretakers noticed that she
did not have the ability to grasp with her toes or hold herself up like an opossum needs
to do to climb and maneuver in the wild. So she underwent weeks of physical therapy
to strengthen her muscles in the hopes that she might be able to climb. She did grow stronger, and she learned how
to climb up an easy ramp, but she could not hold her own body weight. So, not only was she missing a leg, but she
also had neurological damage that prevented her from being able to survive in the wild. Ophelia was deemed non-releasable and needed
a permanent place to call home where her special needs wouldn’t hold her back from a full
and happy life. Just look at how curious and adventurous
she is! I love it! Alright little one, let’s head back inside. It’s getting a little too hot to just be
hanging out outside. This is where Ophi sleeps and eats. While she does like to get on the move for
exploration, she also likes to sleep a lot. Opossums are nocturnal, and they sleep 18
hours of the day. While most of their activity happens at night,
opossums will adventure out during the mornings and evenings, looking for food or a safe place
to sleep. She’s been here for about a week, and now
that she’s settled into her new home, we’re going to continue her physical therapy program
by finding new ways to challenge her physically. We’ll install maybe a ramp and make it enriching
to climb up it by putting her favorite food items at the top. Ophi likes juicy fruits and insects the most. Would you like some fruit? We’ll also add some more obstacles like
logs and blocks that she has to maneuver around. I’d also like to introduce more play items
like balls and foraging toys so she learns to stay active. The reason it’s important for Ophi to be
active is because opossums are very prone to obesity, and since she’s already less
active than an average opo, we need to make sure she stays a healthy weight. If she becomes even a little overweight, it
will put a lot of strain on her spine because of the way she holds herself to walk. Being overweight will also put stress on her
internal organs, which will shorten her lifespan. And since opossums generally have short lives,
we want to make sure every year is as good as it can be. And now, it’s time to a much needed ear
cleaning. Ophelia really likes to stay clean, and she
spends a good amount of her awake time meticulously grooming herself. But there’s one place she just can’t clean,
and that’s her left ear, because… well, she doesn’t have a left foot to clean it
with. So, I’m going to help her out with a little
cotton swab. [CALMING MUSIC] There you go little Ophi! I hope that feels much better. She liked it so much she actually drooled
all over me. [LAUGHS]
Such a happy opossum! Thank you for letting me introduce you to
Ophelia the opossum! I hope you have a wonderful day. And if you’d like to help us continue to
care for and share these amazing animals with the world, you can join our community on Patreon,
where for a monthly pledge you’ll get special perks every month, including voting on new
animal names and Patreon-only videos of adorable animals eating. Go to patreon.com/animalwonders and get involved! Link is in the description. Thanks and I’ll see you… next week. Oh, look at her!

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