Animal Rentals Blog


PLAYING ‘POSSUM

September 6, 2012 by Mindy the Monkey

One of the things that people love the most about our animal shows and animal displays is that they get to touch, pet and hold exotic animals.  Everyone has a different favorite for different reasons.  But one thing that everyone who meets her can agree upon is that my friend Olivia, the Virginia Opossum, is the sweetest and gentlest of all my animal friends.

Olivia was hand-raised from the time she was just a tiny baby by my friend Mark, one of the trainers who works and travels with me and dad.  Baby opossums are born in their mother’s pouch, and spend a couple of months nestled all snug and safe inside. When they come out, they travel around by clinging to their mama’s back.  It’s really cool to see all the babies riding on a mama opossum!  So baby opossums are naturally clingy and cuddly.  Wild opossums eventually grow out of that stage, but because Mark spent hundreds of hours raising and training her, Olivia is still very sweet and cuddly, even as an adult.  She loves to be held just like a baby.

When wild opossums are threatened they play dead in order to discourage their predators.  Olivia can be very still and quiet and not move for hours at a time. That is amazing to me because I don’t like to sit still for even five minutes! Another thing about her that’s really neat is that she has a prehensile tail, just like I do.  She uses her tail kind of like an extra ‘hand’ to help her climb and balance and hold onto things.  Even though we use our tails in similar ways, we are not related. Opossums are marsupials, so Olivia is more like a cousin to a kangaroo than a monkey.  She even has a pouch, too.

Olivia loves traveling with me and dad to all our different events and college lectures.  Because she is so calm and relaxed, she enjoys riding in the car all across the country.  And her favorite thing is meeting and being held by lots of new people – curling up in their arms and laying her head on their chests while they stroke her soft fur.  Everyone loves Olivia the Opossum, and I do too!


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