top of page

Squirrels & Opossums

Although they are not related, squirrels and opossums share some very endearing characteristics. Both are shy, harmless creatures that are important members of their ecosystems. Here at Abbe-Freeland, we care for countless squirrel and opossum babies who have lost their mothers and need to be bottle-, tube- or syringe-fed and cared for until they're old enough to release. 


Did you know?

  • In Greek, the word “squirrel means” shadow tail. The name reportedly reflects tree squirrels' habit of hiding in the shadow of their long, bushy tails

  • The hind legs of squirrels are double-jointed, which gives them the ability to run up and down trees very quickly 

  • group of squirrels is called a "scurry" or "dray"

  • Squirrels are nature's planters, moving and burying seeds and thus expanding and diversifying forests

  • Virginia opossums are the only marsupials native to North America (not be confused with arboreal marsupials of Australia and New Guinea that are called possums) 

  • Opossums have the equivalent of opposable thumbs

  • Opossums are nature’s clean-up and pest-control crew! They eat carrion, rodents, snakes, insects, snails, slugs, bugs, rotting fruit and tons and tons of ticks

  • When threatened, opossums run, growl, belch, urinate, and defecate. And when all else fails, they “play possum” and act as if they’re dead 

  • Female opossums carry their offspring (joeys) in their pouches

  • Opossums have a naturally low body temperature making them virtually immune to rabies

Your tax-deductible donations help us give these wild ones a second chance.

We appreciate any amount you can give.  


When Will was just a baby, sound asleep in his snug little tree nest, his leg and tail were accidentally cut off by a chainsaw. Someone was cutting down an old tree for firewood, never thinking there might be a family of squirrels living inside of it. We rushed Will to the emergency vet and they sutured his wounds. Miraculously, he survived and is now a permanent resident here at the sanctuary. He gets around quite well and is very sweet and playful. 


Anna came to us with a pouch full of babies and badly injured eye. Ultimately, the eye had to be removed but she came through with flying colors. The babies stayed in her pouch safe and warm while they nursed. They eventually got too big for all 12 of them to fit. Anna was such a good mom and took great care of her little dozen. 

bottom of page