Kewpie, the opossum, might seem young at only a year and a half, but he’s already considered a senior! In his short life, Kewpie the opossum has been through a lot of trauma. In August 2020, he was rescued by the Wilderness Trail Wildlife Center in London, Kentucky, when he was only a baby. A cat had chased him up a tree after attacking him. The baby opossum had severe neck injuries and was highly anemic due to blood loss.
From Rescued Animal to Animal Ambassador
In addition to his many injuries, Kewpie was missing his right eye and was diagnosed with dwarfism. Due to his dwarfism, not only is Kewpie smaller than your average opossum, but he also has a snub nose and underbite that make eating difficult. Sanctuary founder Tonya Poindexter knew that Kewpie would never survive in the wild on his own and would become a full-time resident of the wildlife center.
Kewpie’s sweet and docile personality made him an excellent candidate to join Tonya during her educational classes. Tonya says, “People adore him. I made him my USDA ambassador for my educational presentations because he’s so loving.” As an ambassador, Kewpie helps teach adults and children the importance of the Virginia Opossum, the only native marsupial to North America.
Kewpie Experiences Sudden Mobility Loss
Four months ago, Kewpie began showing signs that he struggled with balance. He was diagnosed and treated for an ear infection. When his ear infection cleared, the opossum started to have difficulty walking. Kewpie would fall over, and he began to drag his back legs behind him. Tonya was heartbroken. The vet diagnosed the tiny opossum with osteoporosis in his leg and hip, along with mild scoliosis in his spine. She knew she had to help him; three years earlier, she had rehabbed a baby fawn named Clarice and used a Walkin’ Wheels wheelchair to help her walk. Tonya immediately reached out to Walkin’ Pets to help.
Kewpie Learns to Walk Again in New Opossum Wheelchair
The Walkin’ Pets team was excited to help Kewpie and Tonya. They built a tiny, custom wheelchair for Kewpie, the first-ever opossum wheelchair! Because Kewpie cannot support his weight or maintain his balance, he needed a full support wheelchair. Now, with his new opossum wheelchair, Kewpie can stand upright, relieve himself easily, and is working to rebuild his leg strength. Tonya says, ” Now with the wheels his got some dignity again. Thank you so much for that! He’s still learning how to use them, but I and he’s is so happy!”
Follow along on Kewpie’s recovery on the Wilderness Trail Wildlife Instagram page.