Opossums in medical research
Opossums are very keen on baby custard as you can see from the video clip, so with this in mind a training programme was set up so that all animals weaned into the colony would be given a weekly syringe of custard to train them to stand up, therefore exposing the area where offspring would be attached to teats. This process allows animal technicians to perform the legal and welfare checks required on the mother and assess offspring number and condition without stress for mother, offspring or animal technician.
The laboratory Opossum is a solitary creature with a reputation for being aggressive when handled. It is know that if you disturb a lactating female she may cannibalise any offspring that are born. The offspring are born and immediately attach to their mothers teats where they will remain for at least 2 weeks.