The tiny baby’s odds of survival were slim. At four weeks, he was alone, his mom and siblings snuffed out by a car. It’s likely the baby possum would have been a vulture’s meal — but for the actions of one motorist and the unpredictable events that followed.
In the spring of 2012, a woman retrieved the dead mother possum from the road and took her to Blue Pearl Veterinary Clinic in Tampa, Fla. The baby was scooped from the marsupial’s pouch where he nursed. He had a fractured leg. Recovery seemed unlikely.
In stepped Lea Murray, a registered veterinary technician with 15 years of experience, determined to give the wee possum a chance. The Massena, N.Y., native never dreamed she’d become attached to the little fellow. And no one would have imagined how the possum would thrive with her, become a regular at Applebee’s and Tijuana Flats (in the outdoor patios, of course) and celebrate his first birthday party recently with more than 100 attendees and raise more than $1,200 for wildlife rescue through donations and T-shirt sales.
Along the way, the little fellow is educating those who have erroneous ideas about his kind.