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Baby Opossum and Duckling Rescued

Written by PETA | June 10, 2011

Chirping fledglings, scampering baby rabbits, and other spring babies are making their debut at this time of year. Usually, Mom and Dad are nearby keeping a watchful eye out, but, as PETA’s emergency-pager team can attest, sometimes wildlife babies need a helping hand.

One such baby in need was a tiny opossum who became stuck in a swimming pool in Pembroke Pines, Florida. The pool’s owner was afraid to approach the baby because he was hissing and struggling, but our responder explained that he was exhausted and scared and told the caller to put on gloves, cover him with a towel, and lift him to safety. The caller plucked up her courage and jumped into the swimming pool, rescuing the opossum just as he became trapped in the skimmer’s suction. Thanks to the caller’s quick and compassionate response, the opossum was OK and darted off to safety. 


In Tennessee, a caller did the right thing by calling PETA when she spotted an apparently orphaned duckling in her yard. But despite being advised to take the duckling to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator where he could receive proper care, she balked and said she planned to keep the duck as a pet. Since this is inhumane and illegal, we contacted the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, and a conservation officer took immediate custody of the baby bird. The duckling was transferred to a wildlife rehabilitation facility that specializes in water birds.

If you discover a wildlife baby who appears to be hurt, contact a local animal control agency or wildlife rehabilitator. Stay with the animal until help arrives or he or she can be transported, but don’t try to care for the animal yourself. Wildlife babies need specialized care that is best left to the experts.

Written by Michelle Sherrow

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  • Claudette says:

    Thank you for helping people save these babies, I run a no kill Exotic Pet Rescue and have had calls from people finding all types of creatures, many of them exotics that are bought and kept as cool pets and then the thrill runs out and the animal is discarded and if they are lucky someone sees them and rescues them. However many people also find baby animals and want to keep them not realizing that these are WILD creatures and need to be rehabbed and RELEASED. I wish I didn’t need to have a rescue in the first place, I would be happy if many of the animals I rescued had never been bought or bred into captivity at all. Captive life for many of these animals are death sentences as people do not take proper care of them nor to they want to spend money on them when they do get sick as its cheaper just to buy a new one. Keep up the good work.

  • Boots says:

    I once rescued two infant racoons that were separated from their mother when a man caught them on his property, he was gonna release them on the beach all alone. I found two but the man said there were 5 in total, I never found the other 3. I kept the babies for close to a week before I could find a proper rehabilitation center for them, they were the sweetest darlings and now they’re out living free in a beautiful forest!

  • Aneliese says:

    I’m so glad both these animals were okay – but I don’t understand how anyone could hesitate about helping an animal. That poor oppossum!