#1  
Old 01-19-2005, 06:19 PM
mangeorge mangeorge is offline
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Ever tamed a possum?

I was a small town kid, so I've seen all manner of animals be tamed. At least to some extent. Squirrels, rats, crows and other wild birds. But never a possum. I've encountered a lot of them, but they tend to ignore people unless you really mess with them. Then they'll politely (haha) ask you to let them go on their way.
So. Have you, or has anyone you've known, ever tamed a possum?
BTW; "tame" doesn't mean it'll eat food you leave out. It means the critter will interact with you, and actively try to get you to supply that food.
Also, I know possums are good to eat. That's another subject.
Peace,
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  #2  
Old 01-19-2005, 06:31 PM
cher3 cher3 is offline
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They've never struck me as either very bright or very gregarious.

There are certainly enough around, even with the frequent need for replacements, so they must have something going for them But I don't think it's personality.
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Old 01-19-2005, 07:05 PM
mangeorge mangeorge is offline
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Originally Posted by cher3
They've never struck me as either very bright or very gregarious.

There are certainly enough around, even with the frequent need for replacements, so they must have something going for them But I don't think it's personality.

I know all that, but cuteness is in the eye of the beholder. I've tamed a house mouse or two in my life. I don't reccommend it, though.
BTW; mice will fight over a handout.
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Old 01-19-2005, 08:43 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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I never have, and I too have seen many wild animals inadvisedly taken as pets. (Yes, I realize baby squirrels and raccoons are cute; they are wild animals and will tear your house up even if you ever do get them relatively tame.) I think they're just not very social animals at best. Also they're ugly, so it's not like it's a raccoon where you know it's a bad idea but the animal is very cute. I've seen baby possums at wildlife rescue places, and seen people keep them for a bit to "clean 'em out" with bread and water before they eat them, but never a tame one.
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Old 01-19-2005, 09:02 PM
mangeorge mangeorge is offline
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No no, Zsofia, never brought 'em in the house. Even back then my dad knew better than to allow that. We would toss them food, outdide, and then only sometimes. Even the crow my buddy "tamed" was still leery of strangers, and completely wild. He would come right down to us, and eat food (meat) scraps from our hands. Loved hot dogs, which we called weenies back then. Crows are pretty bold anyway, at least where they're not heavily hunted. I didn't know anybody wanted a raccoon in their house.
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Old 01-19-2005, 09:19 PM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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Originally Posted by mangeorge
No no, Zsofia I didn't know anybody wanted a raccoon in their house.
My father had a pair of them when he was growing up. They stayed in an outside shed most of the time but the family let them in frequently and they hung around on the couch, watched TV, and ate. He said that they were pretty good pets.

A crazy man named Squeeter Skinner that I knew in Louisiana had a pet alligator named "Baby". Baby lived in the pond that was a few yards from his house but would come when called. He would follow Squeeter around the yard and I got to see him very close up on two occasions. Squeeter would also let Baby in the house sometimes so he could have some company and play. Baby was 10 feet long.

However, I have never seen anyone with a pet possum. Those things are disgusting.
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Old 01-20-2005, 01:47 AM
Burnt Sugar Burnt Sugar is offline
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We have possums living in our area, and they are amazingly fearless. They will not hesitate to run along a railing 10cm away from a person. I have no doubt I could hand feed them if I wished.

They come into the house at night if we don't block off every possible escape route.
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Old 01-20-2005, 01:57 AM
Dvorak Dvorak is offline
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I have never tamed an opossum, but a guy I know (William) managed to tame a shrew.
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Old 01-20-2005, 02:24 AM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Well, they are very stupid. But yes, after a while they look upon you as a source of food, which their tiny brain is hardwired to get as much of as possible. (Warning, they will over eat). However, I don't think you can get them to not fear & bite you. Get excited you're bringing food, yes. Being cuddly- no.

Rats are actually very nice pets. Try one of them instead. Do not be deluded by the apparant cuddlyness of hamsters. They are mean.
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Old 01-20-2005, 07:59 AM
hlanelee hlanelee is offline
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My wife had a pet "opossum" when I met her. You can play with them but if you push too much, they'll bite the shit out of you.
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Old 01-20-2005, 10:55 AM
Sinusoidal Saurus Sinusoidal Saurus is offline
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In high school, I worked as a weekend and summer volunteer at our local children's science museum. People would often stop by with "orphaned" wild animal babies, and sometimes the museum would agree to keep them to raise. We once got 2 tiny little possums that were found huddled together against their deceased mom on the side of the road.

We bottle-fed the little guys, and they were the cutest babies ever. I agree that adult possums are seriously ugly, but the babies were great. What I remember best was that their ears looked just like delicate little petunia petals. One of the possums had a mean personality and would try to bite whoever was feeding him, but the other was very sweet, and loved to be cuddled. We took him out for petting zoos all the time.

Once they were old enough to eat solid food, the museum staff added them to the 3 or 4 other possums already on display in the zoo area.

Maisy
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Old 01-20-2005, 11:27 AM
CynicalGabe CynicalGabe is offline
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Only a shrew.
  #13  
Old 01-20-2005, 12:02 PM
MysteryFellow63427 MysteryFellow63427 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shagnasty
A crazy man named Squeeter Skinner that I knew in Louisiana had a pet alligator named "Baby". Baby lived in the pond that was a few yards from his house but would come when called. He would follow Squeeter around the yard and I got to see him very close up on two occasions. Squeeter would also let Baby in the house sometimes so he could have some company and play. Baby was 10 feet long.
Holy moly macaroons!

CynicalGabe, I think Dvorak beat you to the punch on that joke.
  #14  
Old 01-20-2005, 03:22 PM
Earl Snake-Hips Tucker Earl Snake-Hips Tucker is offline
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Not personally, but Elly Mae was often seen petting a possum on "Beverly Hillbillies."

Personally, I've caught three possums in my house/garage in the past six months. None of them seemed very happy to see me when I tried to liberate them.
  #15  
Old 01-20-2005, 03:57 PM
lieu lieu is offline
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I used to see an older guy driving around in a Model T or A or somesuch antique car. His left arm was always resting out the left window and the entire left side of a coon was behind him straddling the opening, obviously at ease and enjoying the ride. It was quite a sight, not easily forgotton, and frankly more pleasant to look at than an opossum.
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Old 01-20-2005, 04:07 PM
Bad News Baboon Bad News Baboon is offline
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Today at the Fort Worth zoo, in the petting zoo, was a trainer who had a tamed possom! The possom was clean (she was a pet) and quite friendly (all things considered). It was amazingly soft and not bristle-y as I imagined. The tail felt like a lizard.

She said she had trained Sugar since birth, when she found her alone (mom and siblings presumed dead somewhere).

So yes, it is possible.
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Old 01-20-2005, 06:10 PM
mangeorge mangeorge is offline
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Well, I'll stick to animals that are supossed th be pets. I think that pretty much limits it to domestic dogs, but others are sure to disagree with me. Cats are cool enough, but you have to strike a deal with them or they'll go elsewhere. Fish, birds, and eapecially ferrets belong in the wild.
I might have, with this OP, given some of you the idea that I was considering "adopting' a possum. Nope. Not in coon's age. It just came to me that I'd never seen or heard of a tame possum.
Appearantly few have.
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Old 02-18-2014, 02:23 PM
calandra18 calandra18 is offline
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yes-possums can be trained and are actually pretty laid back

possums can make great pets-while we don't currently have one in our home-we do have one who lives in our garage-for the last few years, he's back every winter..we feed him of course-he has no fear of us and will come out for his "dinner"-they are far from "dumb" They are actually quite intelligent-although their sloth like movements may make them seem so..they are quite cautious and most certainly think through their actions. They are the only marsupial native to north america and have been around since the age of the dinosaurs [really]. They are very adaptable and will eat darn near anything-but love dog and cat food They 'clean up' by eating everything we consider trash-they also eat insects such as roaches-

As far as being dangerous…no more so than any other wild animal-if you corner any animal it will attack you in fear-try to corner and catch a feral kitten once! I still have the scars to prove even the cutest kitten will take a chunk out of your hand if you corner it.
So will every other animal who is not used to human contact and even some who are.
They can contract illnesses, rabies and other diseases but so can any other mammal on earth-including your beloved pets.

So while possums may get a bad rep., it is wholly unfounded-they are actually quite interesting, intelligent and useful animals-never view them as pests..they actually help keep your home and yard free of real pests…
TY
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Old 02-18-2014, 02:24 PM
calandra18 calandra18 is offline
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I forgot to add, "our" possum actually plays with our small dog when he is out at night..slowly, but playing nonetheless.
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Old 02-18-2014, 02:39 PM
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I grew up in the mountains and foothills of the Appalachians, in the WV/OH/KY area. We used to find baby racoons and tame them every bit as well as you can train a bred ferret or something like that. They were excellent pets, to us.

We let them inside but they didn't live there. I think they were kept like our rabbits, in an enclosed place in cages, warmer than the outside certainly.

One funny detail I recall is that we were always baby powdering them because--of course--they smelled feral no matter what you did.

I cannot for the life of me remember how long we kept them or what we did with them when they grew up. (I remember having them when they were big, though, as well as when they were babies.) At the time we wouldn't have known anything about ruining them for the wild a'nat, so we probably let them go by a creek (crik) or something like we did with skunks we cage-trapped.

As for a 'possum, eh. Don't think they'd appeal much as a pet. But a raccoon has a personality. Personality goes a long way.

Last edited by tapu; 02-18-2014 at 02:39 PM.
  #21  
Old 02-18-2014, 03:12 PM
HoneyBadgerDC HoneyBadgerDC is offline
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A young possum will tame down quickly. Not a real active pet but they do interact a bit and enjoy being held and petted. I am much more afraid of a feral cat than I am a wild possum. I pick them up by the tail all the time and all they do is open their mouth and hiss but seem to calm down fairly quickly. I would say they they are interesting to watch snoop around the house for food but not overly affectionate. Raccoons at some point within the first year will usually sink their teeth into their master so are not really good pets if you want to handle them. As a kid I had a bob cat for a year. He was no different than any well mannered cat in the house. Extrememly affectionate and gentle. Animal control took him away because a kid said it bit him. He was rough housing and the cat would play rough if you pushed him but never really sink his teeth in.
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Old 02-18-2014, 03:19 PM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is offline
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I once worked at a radio station whose studio and towers were located in a rural area. Late one summer night I was taking a break outside, and a huge raccoon waddled up to me and tried to follow me back into the station (no idea if he was someone's pet or just weirdly friendly). I was tempted to lead him into the station owner's office and leave him there as a nice surprise for the morning, but at the time I valued my job.

As risky as it sounds to attempt to tame a possum, it's nowhere near as insane as what this couple did.
  #23  
Old 02-18-2014, 03:25 PM
HoneyBadgerDC HoneyBadgerDC is offline
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Originally Posted by J

As risky as it sounds to attempt to tame a possum, it's nowhere near as insane [url="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1312606/Rescued-hyena-Odi-enjoys-better-good-bath.html"
as what this couple did[/url].
Good article, the hyenas have such a radical method of selection I have to believe that they would change rapidly like a dog if selectively bread. I have no idea how closely they are related to canines but I have seen many examples of the hyenas making great pets, also a few bad examples of how dangerous they can be as pets.
The babies will start killing and eating each other as soon as they are able and the mother does nothing to stop this. This is an animal who is bred right on the edge and culled quickly.
  #24  
Old 02-18-2014, 04:46 PM
Skywatcher Skywatcher is online now
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Originally Posted by mangeorge View Post
So. Have you, or has anyone you've known, ever tamed a possum?
Sort of. Our dog found a baby possum once, brought it home and raised it as her own.
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Old 02-18-2014, 04:58 PM
Poysyn Poysyn is offline
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A childhood friend had a domesticated Beaver (go ahead, make the joke). His Dad was a forestry officer and gad found the orphaned baby after a forest fire. The Mom was a local artist - they named him Bucky ( naturally)

http://www.mbart.ca/provisioner/arti...=&ArticleID=38
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Old 02-18-2014, 05:08 PM
Earl Snake-Hips Tucker Earl Snake-Hips Tucker is offline
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. . .I have no idea how closely they are related to canines but I have seen many examples of the hyenas making great pets, also a few bad examples of how dangerous they can be as pets. . . .
Actually, more closely related to cats, but the rest of your point still holds true.
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:47 PM
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My only knowledge of possums is the most wonderful book by Frank Tashlin "The Possum That Didn't"

My favourite book when I was a kid.

Find it and read it... you won't be disappointed.
  #28  
Old 02-18-2014, 08:51 PM
Happyasaclam Happyasaclam is offline
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Our dobie knocked one off the fence a few months back....
Had to rinse that golf club a few times to get the blood off .
This is an animal I just can't look at, even if it's just googles pictures if the damn thing.
I'm getting the heebejeebees as I type.
  #29  
Old 02-18-2014, 09:17 PM
si_blakely si_blakely is online now
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A few people in NZ have tamed possums (Brushtailed Opossums, which are cuter than the US opossum).

The real risk is that if they panic, they climb the nearest tall object and then hang on for dear life - not good if you happen to be that tall object.
  #30  
Old 02-18-2014, 10:12 PM
stui magpie stui magpie is offline
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Originally Posted by si_blakely View Post
A few people in NZ have tamed possums (Brushtailed Opossums, which are cuter than the US opossum).

The real risk is that if they panic, they climb the nearest tall object and then hang on for dear life - not good if you happen to be that tall object.
I've got a tribe of those bastards living in my roof. They're protected so I'm going to need to get someone to do some serious work to stop them getting in.

I've also put boxes for them in the trees and have some living in my back shed. Those ones just sit there and watch me if I go in for something.

Unlike the american ones, I've never heard anyone but the Aboriginals refer to them as "good eating".
  #31  
Old 02-18-2014, 10:21 PM
elfkin477 elfkin477 is offline
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I didn't know anybody wanted a raccoon in their house.
My mother would love to have raccoons that could be kept in the house. As it is she feeds them outside.
  #32  
Old 02-18-2014, 10:46 PM
si_blakely si_blakely is online now
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I've got a tribe of those bastards living in my roof. They're protected so I'm going to need to get someone to do some serious work to stop them getting in.

I've also put boxes for them in the trees and have some living in my back shed. Those ones just sit there and watch me if I go in for something.

Unlike the american ones, I've never heard anyone but the Aboriginals refer to them as "good eating".
In NZ they are a pest, and the best use for them is for their fur - possum/merino wool mix is awesome.

They carry bovine TB, so eating them is a risk, but some people do
  #33  
Old 02-18-2014, 11:32 PM
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Australian possums are quite different to their North American namesakes. The two main varieties that live in urban areas on the eastern seaboard are the Brushtail Possum and the Ringtail Possum. The ringies are considerably smaller than the brushtail possums, but they make just as much noise when they're squabbling outside your window at night!

Anyway, many years ago the kids found a baby ringie in our garden.
It was so tiny that it fitted into the palm of my hand with my fingers all curled over! We hand-fed and reared the little tyke thinking that every day would be it's last. But one week went by, then two, then a month, then three and we breathed a cautious sigh of relief that we (or he/she) may be out of the woods so to speak.

The possum wasn't tamed as such, but it lived at our house. Each evening not long after the sun set, it would scamper outside to feed and play with the big (possum) kids living in a huge gumtree in our garden. Then when dawn broke, it would head back inside and curl up in a doona on the upper bunk bed of one of the human kids! It never seemed to mind the noise and kerfuffle of a busy household and was certainly not averse to being petted etc.

Alas, one Easter weekend a few months later we'd gone on holidays (left the windows open for him to get in and out) and on our return found the wee possum dead in the kitchen. It had taken a fancy to one of my pot-plants (a succulent, crassula) which we later learned was extremely toxic to animals. A very solemn burial ensued.
  #34  
Old 02-19-2014, 10:21 AM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is offline
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...cuteness is in the eye of the beholder.
I have trouble regarding even baby possums as cute.

To me they look pretty much prehistoric and Satanic at birth.
  #35  
Old 08-31-2017, 12:33 PM
daveinnj daveinnj is offline
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President Harrison and Hoover both had possums as pets

These little creatures are very useful in the environment, can make great pets (but maybe not) depending on your lifesytle and needs and your household (have small kids running around? not so friendly big dogs? - here is a very helpful website with lots of info about them and diet and the like - http://possumlover777.wixsite.com/opossumcare
  #36  
Old 08-31-2017, 12:53 PM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is offline
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Now that the possum thread has once again been revived (snerk), it is well to note that raccoons, however cute, have at least one trait that puts humans at risk - their ability to harbor raccoon roundworms:

"After an animal or person swallows Baylisascaris eggs, microscopic larvae hatch in the intestines and then move into the bloodstream, causing damage to tissues as they grow. Symptoms of an infection in humans include nausea, liver enlargement, loss of coordination, loss of muscle control and blindness.

Human infections are rare, but children or those who are more likely to ingest dirt or animal waste have a higher risk of acquiring the parasite. Those diagnosed with pica disorder, which compels people to eat substances that contain no nutrition, such as ice, dirt, hair or paint, are also at risk.

Raccoons have a tendency to treat porches and stacked firewood as a restroom, Yabsley said. People can touch the firewood or children can crawl through the animal waste and become infected after putting their contaminated fingers in their mouths.

Although there were only 22 confirmed cases of human infection of Baylisascaris between 1973 and 2010, another recently published study in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports reported seven new human cases diagnosed over just the past two years."


https://phys.org/news/2017-03-deadly-raccoon-roundworm-infect-humans.html#jCp"
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Old 08-31-2017, 01:24 PM
Darren Garrison Darren Garrison is offline
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Our dobie knocked one off the fence a few months back....
Had to rinse that golf club a few times to get the blood off .
Where did your dog get a golf club?
  #38  
Old 08-31-2017, 01:32 PM
Darren Garrison Darren Garrison is offline
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BTW, I remember seeing some videos a few years back and wondered if they were still around, and yep.
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Old 08-31-2017, 02:42 PM
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BTW, I remember seeing some videos a few years back and wondered if they were still around, and yep.
Damn, that guy can really put away grub.
  #40  
Old 08-31-2017, 03:11 PM
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My only knowledge of possums is the most wonderful book by Frank Tashlin "The Possum That Didn't"

My favourite book when I was a kid.

Find it and read it... you won't be disappointed.
What, this Frank Tashlin? Small world.
  #41  
Old 08-31-2017, 09:02 PM
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Now that the possum thread has once again been revived (snerk),
Which only proves -------------- naaah, too easy.
  #42  
Old 08-31-2017, 09:56 PM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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Originally Posted by Jackmannii View Post
Now that the possum thread has once again been revived (snerk), it is well to note that raccoons, however cute, have at least one trait that puts humans at risk - their ability to harbor raccoon roundworms:

"After an animal or person swallows Baylisascaris eggs, microscopic larvae hatch in the intestines and then move into the bloodstream, causing damage to tissues as they grow. Symptoms of an infection in humans include nausea, liver enlargement, loss of coordination, loss of muscle control and blindness.

Human infections are rare, but children or those who are more likely to ingest dirt or animal waste have a higher risk of acquiring the parasite. Those diagnosed with pica disorder, which compels people to eat substances that contain no nutrition, such as ice, dirt, hair or paint, are also at risk.

Raccoons have a tendency to treat porches and stacked firewood as a restroom, Yabsley said. People can touch the firewood or children can crawl through the animal waste and become infected after putting their contaminated fingers in their mouths.

Although there were only 22 confirmed cases of human infection of Baylisascaris between 1973 and 2010, another recently published study in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports reported seven new human cases diagnosed over just the past two years."


https://phys.org/news/2017-03-deadly-raccoon-roundworm-infect-humans.html#jCp"
The bigger problem with raccoons as pets is that they are incredibly smart and will destroy just about anything if the mood strikes them. There is a reason they wear a natural bandit mask. They can get into almost anything they want because they are extremely sly and dexterous. The only hope you have is to get one or two that have been abandoned by their mother at an extremely early age and raise it as a pet. That works some but it also works for black bears and raccoons have lots in common with tame bears. You can have fun with them until they decide want something else.

I have known people that have had them as pets and they can be fun until they are not. Raccoons are smarter than dogs in many ways and can destroy your house if they want to. Possums are disgusting in any form. That is what you call nature gone bad. The attractive marsupials are in Australia, not the U.S. I am all for exotic pets (I have a pet chinchilla that I love dearly and is spoiled beyond belief) but there is no way I would have a possum around. They rank well below sewer rats. Nature should have ended that model line a few million years ago.
  #43  
Old 08-31-2017, 10:15 PM
Lucas Jackson Lucas Jackson is offline
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I raised a flying squirrel once. Cute, smart, adorable.

Also, I found a baby raccoon hanging around his roadkilled mother. Took him home and raised him. Great pet for a few years. He lived inside.

No possums though. Too ugly.
  #44  
Old 09-02-2017, 05:17 AM
DLuxN8R-13 DLuxN8R-13 is offline
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Ferrets aren't wild animals.

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Originally Posted by mangeorge View Post
Fish, birds, and eapecially ferrets belong in the wild.
Leaving the issue of birds aside (I am very biased and emotionally invested in the topic), I am constrained to inform you that you're quite wrong regarding ferrets.

The species of ferrets kept and bred in captivity are not wild animals. Humans have kept and bred ferrets, originally as hunting animals but now mainly as pets, for hundreds of years; they are effectively domestic animals as much as rabbits and ducks.

Despite misinformation to the contrary which Fish-and-Game bureaus (purposely?) spread concerning these animals in states where it's illegal to keep them, domestic ferrets aren't capable of establishing feral colonies; breeding them requires care and particular conditions that don't obtain in the wild.

Perhaps you're thinking of the American Black Footed Ferret, an entirely different animal which has never been tamed, and is now very heavily protected as an endangered species of American wildlife.
  #45  
Old 09-02-2017, 05:25 PM
HoneyBadgerDC HoneyBadgerDC is offline
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I have only owned 1 ferret and only for a few months so I don't claim any particular knowledge on ferrets. I used to often wonder about their ability to establish themselves or a colony. I have never heard of it happening even when some encouragement was given to do just this. While my ferret was very tame and friendly I couldn't help but feel he was basically still a wild animals who had gotten use to people. He seemed he was always looking for ways to escape and did on a few occasions. Is this typical, I really would like to own another ferret but if they are generally more tame than mine it would be a plus.
  #46  
Old 09-02-2017, 06:27 PM
Trancephalic Trancephalic is online now
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I think there are different kinds of domestication, with dogs being a special category as they are essentially neotenic wolves, i.e., trapped in biological adolescence. You're not so much an "alpha" as life-long parent figure to them. Cats and mustelids havent undergone neoteny, as far as I'm aware -- birds either (though they may count as neotenic dinosaurs).
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