This Virginia Opossum has made a serious miscalculation. Something inspired her to climb this tree in the middle of the famed UTSWMC heron rookery—a tree full egret nests!

Virginia Opossum - Precarious

Was the opossum after eggs, or was she just fleeing from some perceived danger when she ascended the tree? Whatever the case, the birds were not pleased about her intrusion! Quite a fracus erupted as the opossum approached the top of the tree. The birds squawked and the opossum hissed—mostly bluffs and posturing by all involved.

Virginia Opossum - Precarious

But you could see in the opossum’s body language that she knew she had made a mistake. There were simply too many birds and too many sharp beaks in this tree to contend with. She started looking for a way out.

Virginia Opossum - Precarious

Virginia Opossum - Precarious

Virginia Opossum - Precarious

Certainly also on her mind was the well-being of the unseen juvenile opossums she was carrying in her marsupial pouch. Look carefully at the pictures and you will see that this opossum’s belly is quite distended. Up to thirteen youngsters could be hitching a ride with their mom.

Virginia Opossum - Precarious

Virginia Opossum - Precarious

Virginia Opossum - Precarious

Virginia Opossum - Precarious

Virginia Opossum - Precarious

Eventually, the mother opossum did get turned around, and she began what can only be described as a treacherous descent. Like an insane tightrope artist she worked her way down from the treetop by traveling along a series of vines dangling from the branches—some were horizontally strung, and some were vertical. Quite a feat of acrobatics.

Virginia Opossum - Precarious

Virginia Opossum - Precarious

Virginia Opossum - Precarious

Virginia Opossum - Precarious

Virginia Opossum - Precarious

Virginia Opossum - Precarious

Virginia Opossum - Precarious

Virginia Opossum - Precarious

Virginia Opossum - Precarious

Virginia Opossum - Precarious

When safely away from the angry birds, the opossum demonstrated just how “day in the life” this episode was for her—with a mighty yawn. Easy.

Virginia Opossum - Precarious

Virginia Opossum - Precarious

Virginia Opossum - Precarious