Digital transport platforms and “Rescate Zarigüeyal” allies in the preservation of opossums

They are not bad, they are not angry or aggressive: Fabián Díaz. Photo: (La Jornada Maya)

Mérida, Yucatán, (May 24, 2021).- In this opossum breeding season, digital transport platforms have served as allies in the preservation of these marsupials so often run over by motorists in Merida. 

With the help of these transportation networks, citizens have sent 38 specimens to ‘Rescate Zarigüeyal’ for their rehabilitation and subsequent release. This was reported by Fabián Díaz, the association’s public relations coordinator.

Rescate Zarigüeyal is made up of volunteers who mostly study or work and put a little of their time to collaborate with the care of these animals. Due to the above, it is not always possible for them to come to the rescue of the specimens.

“Many of the reports are of small babies that have them in a box and it is only a matter of going through them, but sometimes we have trouble getting to the point where they are and we have managed to get them to us through digital transport platforms,” explained the lawyer.

If you find an specimen, just keep calm, and send Rescate Zarigüeyal all the information: Name, address, photo of the possum, and briefly explain the situation via Whatsapp text message

The specimens arrive at the association in the form of parcels offered by different platforms such as Uber and Didi, and Fabián assures that it has worked very well for them, as they have provided an immediate solution to this logistics problem.

In general, he explained, the disposition of the drivers has been good, except for one or another case that has refused to transport the possums, but most of the time they have expressed their willingness to collaborate with the cause.

“They are informed of what they are transporting, but they cannot be forced to do anything either,” he said.

At Rescate Zarigüeyal they receive 45 daily reports on average, related to different species. A week they can reach up to 300 reports of people who have some type of animal such as possums, snakes and owls, to name a few.

Reproduction season

These are the strongest months of work for the association since it is the first annual stage of reproduction of opossums, which causes the reports to increase. Their period begins at the end of February, and by the end of April and the beginning of May, the females usually give birth.

“Reports are given a lot in the mornings, when possums are found. These animals are nocturnal, so when night falls in a place that is not their burrow, they stay where they are with the risk of being attacked by dogs or cats ”, warned Fabián.

In this sense, he urged pet owners to keep them indoors at night, and the general public to drive carefully, as they also receive a large number of reports of run-over opossums.

Photo: Rescate Zarigüeyal

“If they get into your backyard, let them be. They are not bad, they are not aggressive or dangerous, on the contrary, they provide a very important ecosystem service. Far from harming us, they help us, ” he said.

Tonight they will release about 25 specimens that are already rehabilitated and prepared for wildlife. The event will be broadcast on the Rescate Zarigüeyal Facebook page starting at midnight, for those who like to tune in.

In the same way, people can support the preservation of the species with a kind donation of regional and seasonal fruits, as it is what they can find in the wild, as well as milk, newspapers, plastic containers, and cleaning materials. To contribute in cash, Rescate Zarigüeyal Santander’s account number is 5579 0900 3621 0434.

Source: La Jornada Maya