A dog in Rio de Janeiro recently adopted a litter of orphaned opossums and – like the dedicated foster mother she is – gives her babies piggyback rides wherever they go.
The baby marsupials lost their mum to a dog attack, but were found by kind strangers who handed them over to animal trainer Stephanie Maldonado.
Chances of survival for the four joeys were low without their mother’s warm pouch. Fortunately, Stephanie’s dog, Pretinha, stepped in and provided the care they needed.
At first, the opossums fed on milk every two hours, then eventually every three hours. Now that they’re older, they feed on berries. They even practice climbing by piggy-backing on Pretinha.
‘It’s very nice to see all the care that she has with them, licking them all the time and nestling them’, Stephanie said. Stephanie hopes the opossum s will learn to go back to the wild once they get bigger. But until then, they’ll enjoy piggyback rides with their canine mum!