Short Tail Possums
Found in Central and Eastern Brazil and throughout Bolivia and Paraguay.
Short Tail Possums are one of the few true insectivores found in the Americas. These possums range in length from 3 to 6.5 inches and weigh from 2 to 3 ounces. Their tail is prehensile and unlike most marsupials, this possum does not have an abdominal pouch. They are primarily nocturnal and live up to 6 years in captivity.
Short Tail Possums feed on a variety of live foods such as crickets and mealworms. We also feed Short Tail Possum Chow*, a high protein pelleted diet which includes mealworms. Sprinkle Short Tail Possum Booster (Multi-Vitamin for Short Tail Possums)* on their food daily. Once a week offer small piece of scrabbled eggs, yogurt, fruit such as apples, grapes or other ripe fruits or carrots can be fed once a week. Provide fresh water in a water bottle. These animals are easy to lose due to dehydration so make sure the water bottle is working properly.
Short Tail Possums are solitary animals. A large aquarium is a good cage for a "Pocket Possum". Be sure to have a secure lid that locks down. The Fresh Air terrarium cage topper by Zilla works with aquariums so that the possum has places to climb and play. Wire cages with solid bottoms may also be used but be sure to check the wire spacing and doors so that your possum will not escape. They are escape artists. The cage bottom should be lined with aspen bedding to absorb moisture. Some type of housing such as a plastic Igloo* (mine loves my old coffee mugs) should be supplied for them to hide in. Nesting material may be added for them to shred and weave a nest with such as coconut nesting material. An exercise wheel* is a great addition to their cage. Remove wheel if you notice any hair missing on their tail etc. They are relatively tidy animals that usually use one portion of their enclosure for their toilet which can be easily cleaned. The ideal temperature for their enclosure should be around 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
As youngsters, short-tail possums have no fear of humans. Let the youngsters crawl on your arms to become acquainted with your body scent. Some people also carry their possums in a carry pouch* to aid in the bonding process. We use a leash* when we have them out on us because we are slow and they are fast, but once they know you they usually stay on you. This allows your possum to bond with you based on your heartbeat and smell.