Vet tech keeps orphaned opossum as a pet

April 30, 2013 at 4:04 PM

TAMPA, Fla., April 30 (UPI) -- A Florida vet tech who cared for an opossum whose family was killed by a car said she fell in love with the critter and decided to keep him as a pet.

Lea Murray, a vet tech in Tampa, said Barley, an opossum just over age 1, survived the car crash that killed his mother and seven siblings. She said she fell for Barley while nursing him back to health, WFLA-TV, Tampa, reported Monday.

"I was going to rehabilitate him and release him; that was the intention," Murray said.

Murray said she got a special permit from the state to keep Barley as a permanent pet.

She said he has been displaying model behavior.

"He does nothing wrong. He doesn't destroy anything -- doesn't tear up anything," Murray said.

"One of the huge misconceptions is, they don't typically get rabies. A lot of people think they do," Murray said. "Their body temperatures are real low, and also, they're the only native marsupial in North America."

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending News
Textbook publisher to revise photo caption calling slaves 'workers'
Semi truck caught on camera crossing South Carolina flood waters
'Minions' sign at village of same name taken down amid picture safety concerns
Harry Potter fans 'trying to free' Dobby with socks in London
Researcher puts sea turtles in swimsuits to collect fecal samples