FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (FOX 5 DC) — North America’s only native marsupial is often misunderstood — a Fredericksburg woman is hoping to change that through her education program called "Awesome Possumz."
“In order to keep and exhibit a wildlife animal in the state of Virginia, I had to get a license to the U.S. Department of Agriculture,” said Karen Brace.
Brace says the day she opened a box filled with orphaned opossums, it was love at first sight.
“What started off as ‘I have 11 possums, I’m going to bring them to you’ turned into ‘I have 11 possums you need to show me how to feed these things because they’re adorable I’m already over the top in love,’” said Brace.
Brace has been a wildlife rehabber for seven years. It’s illegal to keep a wild animal as a pet.
Virginia law requires any animal that cannot be released to be put down or used as an educational animal, thus, the introduction of Stuart to the world stage.
Brace and Stuart are part of an educational program called “Awesome Possumz.” Stuart even has his own Instagram account dedicated to educating the public about North America’s only native marsupials.
“Possums have 50 teeth and they’re all razor sharp. That's the most teeth of any mammal and where is they are docile if they’re cornered they’re not afraid to use the teeth," said Brace.
Stuart - will continue his education tour - but the rest of the possums will eventually be released back into the wild.
“For the most part they just wanna be left alone,” said Brace. A request most people won’t mind honoring.