Clark

Species Name (EN): 
Virginia Opossum
Species Name (LA): 
Didelphis virginiana
Patient Status: 
Patient Archive

Clark was rescued with his brother Lewis in April 2019 after their mother was hit and killed by a car. Despite spending his first two months at the Wildlife Center as a patient in very limited contact with humans, it became clear that both Lewis and Clark remained far too friendly to be released. In July 2019, the decision was made to include both opossums in the Center’s team of outreach ambassadors. Now, Clark can be found living in an outdoor enclosure with Lewis near the Center’s other education opossums; Clark is nearly identical to Lewis, except that Lewis has a small pattern of black markings near the base of his tail.

Clark is named after William Clark – a Virginia native and well-known member of the first American expedition to cross the western portion of the United States. Like those early explorers, opossums are nomadic and rarely stay in one den or nesting site for long.

Updates

November 1, 2020

The Wildlife Center is sad to announce the death of Clark the Virginia Opossum on October 30, 2020. Clark was about one-and-a-half years old, and is preceded in death by his brother, Lewis.  

Clark was rescued with his brother Lewis in April 2019 after their mother was hit and killed by a car. Despite spending their first two months at the Wildlife Center as patients in very limited contact with humans, Lewis and Clark remained far too friendly to be released. In July 2019, the decision was made to include both opossums in the Center’s team of outreach ambassadors. Lewis and Clark both began training to be good ambassadors for their species, and Clark appeared in several programs throughout the fall of 2019. 

Clark passed away suddenly; a post-mortem examination by Center veterinary staff revealed changes to the GI system, with symptoms possibly suggesting Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV). This condition is most common in large/deep-chested dogs, and from what the Center staff know, is incredibly rare in other species.

Clark helped teach people -- both in-person and online -- about his amazing species. Since March 2020, all in-person programs have been suspended due to the COVID-10 pandemic, though Clark was able to reach even more people through online programs, and enjoyed several interactive online programs with Alex, the Center's outreach coordinator.

Thanks for your service, Clark. We are thankful for the time we had with you. 

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