Opossums are not aggressive by nature, but any animal that is scared or injured may bite. The normal reaction of a scared or injured opossum may be to hiss, bare its teeth, make itself appear larger than it is, and possibly drool to frighten away predators.
To secure the opossum, place a clothesbasket, trashcan or something similar over it. Using a thick towel, blanket, or jacket, cover the opossum. Using a firm but gentle approach, pick it up and place the opossum in a small kennel or a cardboard box slightly larger than the animal itself. Make sure there are air holes and that any openings are securely closed. If possible, wearing leather garden gloves will offer an additional source of protection from bites or scratches.
If a opossum is found to have babies in her pouch, please check the area for babies that may have been dislodged and scattered. Opossum babies can often be “heard” before “seen” as their cries sound like a hissing noise.
Keep the animal in a dark, quiet location away from pets and children until the animal can be transported.
The sooner the injured animal gets the medical attention it needs, the better are its chances for survival. You may offer a shallow dish of water. Do not attempt to feed it, as wildlife requires specialized foods.
Once babies become active and venture outside the pouch, this is the time when they may get “left behind” by mom. Any opossum that is smaller than the size of a kitten is in need of rescue. There is no reuniting it with the mother unless “mom” is still visible at the location.
In this case, place the opossum close enough to the mother opossum, so that she can hear the baby’s cries (a hissing sound). If the mother can hear the baby, she will often circle back close enough that the baby will climb onto her. Please watch the baby from a safe distance so as not to deter the reunion.