Opossum Mom Accidentally Knocks Babies Off Her Back in Cute Clip

An overwhelmed opossum is going viral after a video of her accidentally dropping a few of her babies was posted to Reddit.

In the popular r/aww subreddit devoted to cute pictures and videos, u/MrFuzzybagels posted the eight-second clip and got over 26,600 upvotes for his trouble. Titled "Excuse me miss, I think you dropped something," the video shows the mother opossum running with nine babies on her back. She accidentally clips against the corner of a building, and knocks three off.

The babies were all fine, albeit perhaps a little confused as to where their mother had gone. Though it may seem a little harsh, this is generally how opossums go off on their own. Evolutionarily, this helps the opossum spread its species far and wide. As babies fall off, each starts off their search for a new home from a different place.

If a baby is below 8 inches long—not including tail—or under about a pound in weight, it's likely too young, according to the DFW Wildlife Coalition. If they're too young, they'll likely make "sneezing" sounds to call for their mother to return, according to the Opossum Society of the United States.

These babies, however, appear to be old enough. They don't call for their mother, and don't chase after her. They may be a little surprised, but otherwise appear unconcerned and will go off to start their lives as untold numbers of baby opossums have done throughout the ages.

opossum baby video viral cute back knockoff
A mother opossum, like the one in this stock photo, carries her babies on her back until it's time for them to go off into the world—which happens generally by a baby falling off once it's old enough. Melissa Morphew/Getty

If, however, one does come across opossums that are too young, and their mother isn't coming back, or worse, has been killed, call a wildlife rehabilitator in the area, and turn the opossum over to them. If it will be a little while until the rehabilitator can get the opossum, the Opossum Society of the United States suggests wrapping the baby in a soft towel and placed near—but not on—a heat source. Unlike other mammals, opossums do not suckle, and must lap up their formula—though if the baby is between 4-7 inches, it can likely eat kitten food that's been pre-moistened with water.

Opossums are generally unable to be rabid; though they can contract the disease, a possum's body temperature is too low for rabies to take hold. Though opossums have been credited with eating ticks, a study published in September 2021 called "Are Virginia opossums really ecological traps for ticks? Groundtruthing laboratory observations" suggested that the animals don't usually eat the parasites.

Some on Reddit shared their own run-ins with opossums.

"Went out to my pool the other day and I see one as young as those floating dead. I get the ol' flat net out and fish it out. Then I look again and there is a live one just slowly paddling away. I put the flat net under it and rescue the little guy. He stands there for about 10 minutes like it is disoriented. My wife comes out and says, 'It needs dried off.' Goes in and gets a small towel. Starts drying and says, 'I think this one is dead too!' I had to laugh!!! 'IT'S PLAYING POSSUM!!!' Grabbed it by the tail and set it gently next to the hole in our fence. It took about 30 seconds for it to pop to life and run off!!! I wish I could have saved both," u/Nutwinder wrote.

"We have a shop possum named George Jones, just hangs out and eats and sleeps , loved by all," u/snafufabercation wrote, referring to the long-lasting nickname given to the country music star.

"A similar thing happened to me when mom took off running from my old cat who didn't even care it was there. It left a tiny baby behind and I figured that she would return. She never did," u/nml11287 wrote. "The baby's cries were also bringing in the alley cats. I got the baby, fed it and kept it hydrated throughout the night and took it to a reserve early the next morning."