Rare hairless opossum dropped at wildlife center gets ‘winter wardrobe’ of sweaters to survive the cold

Rare hairless opossum dropped at wildlife center gets ‘winter wardrobe’ of sweaters to survive the cold

One marsupial will be sporting some cozy winter threads this season.

A wildlife rehab center in Lubbock, Texas, has received an outpouring of support – and clothing – after a rare hairless opossum Friday was dropped off by a person concerned about the animal’s well-being.

“When I was bringing the box back in, an arm comes out of the box and I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, he dropped off a hairless cat,'” Gail Barnes, executive director of the South Plains Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, told “Today.” “I opened it up, and it was a possum.”

Fortunately the opossum, which has the hair-loss condition alopecia, was brought to Barnes, because, as the director explains, without fur the animal cannot “regulate its body temperature” and likely would have been dead after being out in the chilly Texas nights.

After the opossum was placed in an incubator as part of its rehabilitation, the center posted about the months-old creature on its Facebook page.

“This is the first for us at the Wildlife Center. This 3-4 month old hairless opossum was found in SW Lubbock. She would never survive in the wild. This opossum is going to need a winter wardrobe,” the post read.

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Soon after, the center was flooded with comments from animal lovers who wanted to help.

“People with hairless cats … they’re donating those clothes. People are knitting sweaters,” Barnes said to Today. “We’re going to be getting quite a few donations.”

Opossums need hair to survive the cold outdoors, which is why people have been donating sweaters to the baby opossum with a condition that cannot grow hair.

Opossums need hair to survive the cold outdoors, which is why people have been donating sweaters to the baby opossum with a condition that cannot grow hair. (iStock)

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Currently, the animal is reportedly thriving. Today, the South Plains Wildlife center shared the tiny opossum has “almost doubled her weight.”

“Her favorite foods are crickets and applesauce,” it continued.

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Once she is fully recovered, the opossum will continue to live in the center and become one of its “educational ambassadors” since she cannot be safely released back into the wild due to her condition.

“Once we’re able to go back into schools, she will be incorporated into our educational program,” Barnes told “Today.” “Possums are the only marsupial in North America, and with her not having fur, you’ll be able to see her pouch in the front, which educates people about marsupials.”

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