Opossum —Didelphis virginiana.
In a full sprint to escape the most dire danger, the white- or gray-colored, seven-pound opossum musters a stunning seven miles-per-hour pace. When that fails, they’ll drop in their tracks, pretending to be dead. So what’s the problem with these mammals — the sole marsupial in North America? Unfortunately, they also have learned to appreciate the benefits of having your home nearby.
Preferring environments near swamps and streams, solitary living opossums are equally willing to take up residence in a Michigan attic or garage, and they’re not particularly concerned with neatness. In their natural surroundings, they’ll live in holes in trees, brush piles, or even the burrows of other animals. From either manmade or natural dens, they can raid garbage cans, bird feeders, your pet’s food dish, compost piles and more, instead of their more natural dining choices, like insects and dead animals.
They are most generally active at night, and appear dazed when captured in the beam of a flashlight or on a highway. Don’t mistake the opossum’s docile appearance, however. Capable of destroying poultry, game birds and bird nests, opossums will bite.