During the month of October, opossum #21-3141 received two more courses of chelation therapy to remove the lead in his system. A repeat lead test performed on October 31 came back positive for lead, though the result of 0.034 ppm indicated a much lower subclinical level. Normally, the veterinary team would continue chelation therapy until all of the lead in a patient’s system is removed. However, because this opossum had undergone five courses of chelation therapy, which can be hard on the kidneys, they decided not to administer another round of treatment to remove the remaining lead.
On November 5, the veterinary team moved the opossum to the Center’s newly constructed outdoor B Pens for exercise. Center staff carefully observed the opossum during the next two weeks and found that he had the appropriate stamina and behavior to return to the wild, and was even seen attempting to dig a path out of the B Pens.
On November 20, the veterinary team examined the opossum and cleared him for release. One of the Center’s volunteer transporters picked up the opossum on November 22 and released him in Mechanicsville, Virginia close to where he was originally rescued.