Back in October, Gail Barnes, the executive director of South Plains Wildlife Rehabilitation Center (SPWRC) in Lubbock, Texas, opened the facility’s doors to find a special (and adorable) package waiting outside.
“This hairless arm comes out of the box and I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s a hairless kitten,'” Gail said. “I opened it up, and it was a possum.”
The tiny critter was in bad shape when a good Samaritan found and brought her to the rescue. A few months old, she’d likely been abandoned by her mother. She was underweight and so cold that she had to be placed into an incubator. Rescue workers also discovered she had alopecia, a condition that causes hair loss. Without fur, opossums can’t regulate their body temperature, meaning she’ll never be able to go back into the wild.
Fortunately, the little darling had perfect timing! Two days after she was found, the center was bombarded by ice and snow. She wouldn’t have made it on her own. She was also in good hands; after just a week at SPWRC, her weight nearly doubled! And her caretakers came up with the cutest way to keep her warm.
The rescue put out a call for a teeny winter wardrobe — and the public delivered! Knitters from all over got to work on opossum-sized sweaters and pouches for her to cozy up in, and we’re reveling in the cuteness!
What’s more, generous strangers have even been donating hairless cat clothing for when she grows bigger! She’ll certainly need it, as she’s already gone from 132 to 583 grams and counting! Her favorite foods? Crickets and applesauce.
While she’s still very shy around people, volunteers hope to gain her trust soon. In the meantime, they’re giving her the best care possible. They’re also looking forward to giving her a name once the center secures a permit to keep her permanently.
“She’ll have a good life and educate so many people about the benefits of opossums,” Gail said. “They’re very misunderstood.”
We’re so happy this cutie is warm and well-fed in her new home! And, of course, we can’t wait to see more pictures of her all dressed up!
Interested in knitting a sweater for this opossum? Mail donations to South Plains Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, 3308 95th Street, Lubbock, Texas, 79423. You can also donate directly to the rescue here.
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