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Mother of Seven Survives Attack, Fights Infection and Cares for Young

Photo by Ashley Kinney

Photo by Traci Tsukida

On July 13, 2012 the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley admitted an adult female opossum. She’d been found wedged between two tree stumps after being attacked by a dog. As it turned out, she was not only suffering from bite wounds, dehydration and malnutrition – she was also a mom, carrying seven young opossums in her pouch.

Her time in our hospital was not easy. Her recovery took considerably longer than expected, complicated by the fact that all her energy was going to her joeys rather than to her own healing. The Center’s animal care team started her on a much-needed fluid therapy regimen as well as wound treatment and antibiotics. As she did not show improvement over the next several days, a decision was made to remove the joeys from the pouch, which were sent to a dedicated and experienced volunteer for home care and eventual release several weeks later. Still showing little improvement over the following week, we cultured the wound and found that this poor girl had six different forms of bacteria!

The Center is happy to report that after another two-and-a-half months of daily wound care and antibiotics, this lovely girl finally received a clean bill of health and was released back to her home near the Los Gatos Creek Trail on the evening of November 7, 2012. She was given plenty of cover by surrounding trees and let loose during her most active hour.

Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley
3027 Penitencia Creek Road
San Jose, CA 95132
1-408-929-9453 (929-WILD)

Hours: 9 am to 5 pm, 7 days a week
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