Joey the Opossum
This story is a dream that I had for Joey the day I found him curled into a tiny ball in the grass in the backyard. I wanted to document his progression from infancy to the day he could be released back into his true home – the wild. Unfortunately that was not meant to be. Thousands of wild animals are displaced each year for many reasons: fire, flood, and habitat de- struction due to encroaching “civilization.” When these animals lose their homes, they have no choice, in the search for food, water and shelter, but to risk approaching our homes and business- es. There confrontations take place, such as the one where Joey lost his mother and all of his siblings to the neighborhood dogs. Joey was injured in the attack, unable to be released. It is a rare and wonderful gift for a wild animal to bond with a human. Joey blessed me with his trust. I was honored to have had the opportunity to be Joey’s caregiver. Joey loved me and I adored him! He served as an educational Opossum Ambassador for almost three years at my school. My fifth grade class threw Joey a birthday party with ice cream and cake. We held a “Wildlife Awareness Day” at the school and the educational impact of the day was a joy to see!