Written by Mary Cooper of Dallas, Texas
I have always loved animals and have rescued a few along the way. One night, I was driving home as I went down a dark, curved street and noticed an opossum in the middle of the road between the lanes. Its face was injured and there was a pool of blood below. The poor creature was so terrified, it stood absolutely still.
A man in a truck was driving the opposite direction and slowed down as I called to him. He stopped and waited to warn me of oncoming cars as I darted over to the opossum, laid my Bill Blass overcoat on the ground and tried to coax the animal to walk onto the coat so I could then pick it up. The animal remained frozen, so I wrapped the coat around it, carefully picked it up and ran to the sidewalk. The opossum allowed me to carry it, but once we were across the street, it struggled to get down. I held onto it and put it in the open back of the man’s truck.
I asked the nice man to follow me to my apartment complex, which was just around the corner. Without letting him see which apartment I lived in, I ran up to my place and got a cat carrier. I went back to the truck, and the man helped me put the opossum into the cage which I then put in my car.
I Turned to the Opossum Woman
I went on my way and proceeded to call the city of Dallas about animal rescue, but they were unavailable. I called my mother who suggested I call the Highland Park police who are very resourceful. They were, indeed, as they gave me the name of a woman in Oak Cliff who is licensed to rehabilitate opossums. So I contacted Donna, “the opossum woman,” and drove out to Oak Cliff at 10:30 p.m.
When I arrived, her husband and she rushed out, unscrewed the cage and picked up the opossum (putting their hands under the belly to avoid being bitten). They knew exactly what to do.
She Fully Recovered
It turns out the opossum was a female, so we called her Lucy. Weeks later, I called Donna and she said that Lucy was fine and that she had let her out on a green belt after her recovery.
I never thought I would impulsively risk my life, ruin my favorite designer coat and let a strange man follow me to my apartment complex, but it was all worth it as it had a positive outcome. The funny thing is that, at the time, I didn’t even know what kind of animal I was rescuing. I thought it might be an opossum. Since then, I have learned a lot about opossums, which are marsupials that carry their babies in their pouches (from the kangaroo family, not the rat family). I now live in an area where opossums roam around my property at night and sometimes I leave a little food out for them.
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