Short Tailed Opossum
STO’s are small (3-6.5”), friendly creatures that live 4-8 years in captivity. Originally from South America, the short-tailed opossum has thick grey-brown fur and a muzzle similar to a rat ,and sharp teeth. They have large ears and are very thin-skinned. Their large ears make them quite sensitive to sound and their eyes bulge out giving them good night vision, as they are primarily nocturnal.
Their tail is prehensile, meaning it can wrap around and hold onto things and it is hairless. They are marsupials, although they do not have a pouch. Their young are born premature, latch on to a nipple on their mother's abdomen, and stay there until they are further developed.
Short-tail opossums feed on a Marshall Pet Products ferret food and Mazuri insectivore diet. Canned Zupreem marmoset diet can be fed once a week as a treat and supplement. Fruit:oranges, apples, grapes or other ripe fruits or carrots can also be fed once a week, as should a variety of live insects such as crickets and mealworms. Our babies are used to drinking out of a water bottle.
Short-tail opossums are solitary animals, so they should live alone. Some popular cage options are: Critter Nation, Prevue Rat & Chinchilla Cage, and bird cages. With the wire cages make sure the spacing is .5 inch so that your opossum will not escape. The cage bottom should be lined with pine shavings or aspen bedding to absorb moisture.
Some type of house such as a plastic Igloo, wooden box or wooden log should be supplied for them to hide in, or hanging pouch. Nesting material may be added for them to shred and weave a nest with. An exercise wheel is a great addition to their cage. They also enjoy branches to cllimb on. They are relatively tidy animals that use one portion of their enclosure for their toilet, so a small litter box can make cleaning easy.
The ideal temperature for their enclosure should be 75 degrees to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
As youngsters, short-tail opossums have no fear of humans. Let the youngsters crawl on your arms to become acquainted with your body scent. Bonding bags to carry your opossum in will help with the bonding process. This allows the opossum to bond with you based on your heartbeat and your smell. Putting something in their cage that smells like you is also a great way to help bond your opossum to you.