Opossum Husband Makes The Bed So His Partner Has A Cozy Place To Sleep

“Getting rare behaviors is our biggest thrill" 💞

For the past 10 years, Hal Brindley and Cristina Garcia have been filming wildlife in their North Carolina backyard with camera traps. They usually capture plenty of squirrels, woodchucks and rabbits. But they have rarely gotten footage of opossums, likely due to the animals being nocturnal.

Recently, their luck changed.

Opossum carries leaves with his tail
Facebook/Travel For Wildlife

In November, Brindley and Garcia, who run the website Travel for Wildlife, captured footage of a male opossum preparing a den inside a woodchuck burrow. On two different nights, the opossum sauntered in front of the camera trap with his tail curled around a big bundle of dried leaves. On the second night, they even filmed him disappearing into a woodchuck burrow with the leaves.

“Getting rare behaviors is our biggest thrill when camera trapping … probably our household’s equivalent of watching football,” Brindley told The Dodo.

This leaf-gathering opossum wasn’t alone. Shortly after he’d taken the leaves into his den, another opossum — likely a female — followed him into the burrow.

“The female came home about an hour and a half after him, once he’d already finished making the bed,” Garcia said. “She likes to sleep in because she usually leaves later than him and comes home later.”

Facebook/Travel For Wildlife

Now that they know where the opossums are, Brindley and Garcia are keeping their cameras pointed towards their den, which they are likely sharing with a woodchuck.

“Woodchucks create [an] important habitat with their burrows, and we’ve seen them sharing burrows with multiple opossums and occasionally with rabbits in our yard,” Brindley said. “The woodchucks will go out during the day, and the opossums work the night shift.”

The couple hopes to eventually see some opossum babies, although they have no idea if and when this might happen.

“[Opossums] have a long breeding season from about January to July with a peak around February to March,” Brindley said. “The only way we could know for sure is to get a video with the babies on her back.”

If they did eventually capture that behavior, Brindley said that would be the “holy grail of opossum camera trapping.”

Opossum with babies
Getty/Kathleen Reeder Wildlife Photography

“We love our opossums,” Brindley said. “They are our favorite critters in the yard. In our years of camera trapping our property, we’ve documented at least 12 mammal species, from mink to black bear, but the opossums always make us smile.”