STROUDSBURG, Pa. — Using a small kitten harness, and an adhesive bandage wrap, Brianna Banko gave an opossum named Daisy the chance to stand up all by itself.
It's something rehabilitators at The Wilderz at Pocono Wildlife Center near Stroudsburg say she wasn't able to do over a month ago when she was brought in.
"Anytime we can help an animal, we try to think outside the box because that's what we need. There's no exact research on how to do exactly this or that. Sometimes we need to invent new materials, new structures to give a specific animal specific support somewhere," said Banko, an intern at the center.
Coming up with a way to help Daisy was a top priority for the wildlife center and Banko who studied wildlife ecology in college.
What she came up with is working.
"We have special material with metal in between and then we wrapped it, so it's all nice and cushioned. Nothing sharp is poking out of this. So, this goes between her legs, which we wrap around her hind, just to give that support behind, and then we use the harness to really pull it up," Banko said.
Co-director of the center Janine Tancredi says a temporary injury to the spine is what's causing Daisy to drag her back legs. She believes by using the suspender-looking contraption twice a day on Daisy, the animal will have a better chance of being able to recover.
"The idea is to get the muscle built up in the hind legs so that she's at least steady. I know it doesn't look like much in the actual sling. The way that she's standing, but just bearing weight alone and rocking back and forth is strengthening those muscles that she's not able to do without it," said Tancredi.
Daisy is also doing red light therapy while moving her legs, to help build the muscle.
"Some animals like her give us the chance to work with her and kind of build that muscle and you know rehabilitate her that's our goal," said Banko.
They believe Daisy will eventually be released back into the wild.
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