Wildlife Center of Virginia reveals names of new education opossums

Virginia News

WAYNESBORO, Va. (WFXR) — Meet Marigold and Violet! As of Tuesday afternoon, Wildlife Center of Virginia has officially named the two Virginia Opossums who recently joined the center’s outreach ambassador team.

The wildlife center says more than 900 people participated in last week’s poll to name these new education animals. The winning names certainly fit these fluffy ladies’ personalities.

First there’s Marigold!

This opossum was admitted to the Center as a patient in October 2020 after being hit by a car in Middle River, which left her completely blind in her right eye and with limited vision in her left eye. In other words, the collision damaged Marigold’s eyesight to such an extent that she would not be able to survive in the wild. 

Despite her limited vision, outreach staff say Marigold was able to navigate her enclosure and find her food after they started working with her in fall 2020. In addition, seeing as she responded well to training, the wildlife center says she became an official member of the outreach ambassador team in late December 2020. 

The name Marigold certainly suits this opossum because marigold flowers are a sunny yellow — just like her personality — and they produce oils that can help ward off pests, similar to the way opossums help keep tick populations in check, according to the wildlife center.

Next up is Violet!

This opossum was found in the fall with non-life-threatening injuries to her toes and tail and was brought to a wildlife rehabilitator in southwest Virginia. However, since Violet was friendlier than expected for her age, it raised some questions about what happened before she was rescued. 

Seeing as the young opossum’s missing digits and amputated tail would limit her climbing abilities, the center’s outreach staff started working with Violet in fall 2020 before she officially joined the outreach ambassador team in late December 2020. 

The wildlife center says they chose Violet as one of the options for this opossum’s name because Violet flowers are a beautiful shade of purple and often inhabit many different habitats throughout the northern hemisphere, even reaching all the way to Hawaii and Australia. This name also pays homage to the opossums’ versatility in their habitats and their resilience as a species.

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