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Playing possum

Posted by RyseRyse_2004 (My Page) on
Tue, Jan 14, 14 at 16:13

Those possums sure do have that 'playing dead' thing down to an art. Twice in the last week our labs have encountered possums (one had 'shaken-baby syndrome as a result of capture, I was sure). The 'shaken baby' played dead as soon as my dog released it ---- he watched it for awhile and then walked away. It got up and left.

Then today, the other dog was standing over a lump of something barking continuously. I called him in and the lump just stayed there for almost an hour. I checked on it again and it was gone. Amazing.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Playing possum

haha! my dane boy "killed" one just a little while ago. once they start playing dead, my dogs lose all interest. i picked it up in a snow scoop and tossed it over the fence.

several months ago, bentley was outside at night. i heard him barking like crazy then, silence. five minutes later, he came in through the dog door with his "dead" prize. gee, thanks bentley!

RE: Playing possum

We had one who went into a large trash can and could not get out. We tipped the can on its side, and he was able to walk out. When he was playing possum on the bottom of the can, his mouth was ajar, and he had some fearsome looking teeth.

RE: Playing possum

I handled one one when I was young who was playing dead. He evidently didn't think this defense was working when I didn't put him down soon enough,and he sure enough came back to life and flashed his choppers at me. Yes, they're fearsome. I put him down directly.

RE: Playing possum

Years ago I saw a dog "worrying" a possum and they ended up in a very shallow creek. The possum played dead and laid in the water. The dog soon lost interest and went away. I watched it for awhile and then took a long stick and gently tried to touch the possum. It moved it's head and showed those teeth and I took off running. It didn't take long for it to get up and walk away. It is a pretty good defense mechanism when you think about it.

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