Do Possums Hibernate?

Opossums will build or inhabit abandoned dens or underground burrows just about anywhere, as long as they are dry, safe and are providing a good shelter. They are using several dens at the same time through all year. Opossum doesn´t hibernate but do stay in their dens for a longer period of time during the winter. Tucson opossum doesn´t accumulate a lot of body fat for the winter and that is why they need to forage all year long.

They build or use dens of other Tucson animals, such as woodpiles, spaces under buildings, in hollow trees, or inside a tree log and quite possible in a rock crevice. These pesky little creatures may be limited as far as their intelligence is concerned, but they aren´t stupid. Opossum´s fur doesn´t provide much warmth and insulation for the animal. As a solution to that problem, it fills up its den with all sorts of soft material available nearby. For keeping the den dry, warm and sheltered, Arizona opossums use dried leaves, grass, and other materials in order to achieve a well-insulated den-site.

Opossum and winter
During the rest of the year, from spring till autumn animals like Tucson raccoons, skunks and opossums are regularly spotted by gardeners or other residents. These animals are wandering around from dusk till dawn in a search of food. The footprints are to be seen all across the premises as they hunt for nocturnal snacks. These animals are omnivores and would eat almost anything that comes around. Nuts, berries, smaller rodents, eggs, little birds, earthworms, insects, snakes, are just some of the possibilities that can be found on their menu. We also can´t forget the food that people provide, such as pet food, garbage from the dumpsters and a bird feeder looks quite inviting to them as well. However, how do they survive the winter? None of them neither hibernates nor migrates to a more suitable or friendlier climate. None of them prepares for the winter by stockpiling the food. Winter time for these creatures can be a very difficult time for them. But the most difficult time of them all, winter represents for the opossum. As they usually nest alone, they spend winters by moving from one abandoned den to another.

As they don´t possess a thick, warm fur, their hairless ears and tail often gets injured by the outside frost. They also usually live alone, without any warmth from another Arizona opossum´s body and that is why they need to make their dens a little more hospital and well insulated. They gather the material with their tail, but unfortunately as they switch their dens quite frequently the process of building has to be repeated over and over again. As these little Tucson creatures do not hibernate, during the winter, they have to face the greatest challenge of them all. Simply, how to survive, when the odds are against you?

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