Pet of the Day

December 14, 1998

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Van Goh, the Pet of the Day
Name: Van Goh
Age: Unknown
Gender: Male
Kind: South American
Short Tail Opossum
Home: Texas, USA
   Van Goh is pretty laid back even for a short-tail opossum. He likes riding around in a cloth bag that was designed for ferrets and is often mistaken for a rat. Short Tail opossums in the USA are primarily captive-bred descendants of lab animals. The species was used extensively as a lab animal due to the fact they are a marsupial who has no pouch. The babies attach to the nipples without a pouch, making them a very primitive marsupial.

    Van Goh likes hiding in pockets and is pretty laid back. He doesn't mind strangers and kids, doesn't try to nip, but does lick if you've handled him after handling food. He is my first, originally from an exotic animal auction in Texas. His previous owner had him as a breeder, but lost the female and with her, the interest in breeding Short Tail Opossums as pets. The name Van Goh comes from the fact he is missing part of one ear from some past accident. He settled right in here though and has a wheel to run on, stuff to climb on and lots of crickets to eat. He does seem to be nocturnal for the most part, but sometimes I see him up and running on the wheel during the day. Either he is like those people who go to all night gyms or he is addicted to the wheel. The Short Tail Opossum only gets about the size of a gerbil.

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