Saying Goodbye to Marigold

On December 27, Wildlife Center staff made the difficult decision to humanely euthanize Marigold the Virginia Opossum. At almost four years old, Marigold had declining mobility and developed several masses on her body; one of the masses continued to grow and became an open wound on her left leg. The only treatment option was surgery, but staff decided it would be unfair to put Marigold through the difficult recovery process given her age and already deteriorating health.

Marigold came to the Wildlife Center in October 2020 as a young opossum after she had been struck by a vehicle. The collision damaged Marigold’s eyes and left her partially sighted. With limited vision, Marigold would not have been able to survive in the wild, but she adapted well to life in captivity. She received the name Marigold as a homage to her bright and sunny disposition.

During Marigold’s time at the Center, she had a huge impact on not only the staff who worked with her but everyone who met her. Through virtual programs, Marigold met thousands of people around the world. Marigold also traveled to more than 75 in-person programs ;at schools, libraries, and special events. Marigold was at one time the "mascot" for a roller derby team, the "teacher" at a university lecture hall, and a "magical creature" at a Harry Potter-themed festival. Marigold’s presence at programs was only matched by her connection with people on social media, where she became an instant hit among Wildlife Center followers. Marigold’s story, and her calm, curious, and trusting nature touched all.

At the time of her passing, Marigold was an elderly opossum. In her advanced age, she had been retired from programs and spent her time at home, enjoying good food and occasionally exploring her enclosure. Sadly, her age caught up with her and the outreach and veterinary teams decided it was time to let her go before her quality of life deteriorated. Marigold spent her last days eating her favorite treats and surrounded by her human co-workers.

Goodbye, Marigold, and rest in peace. Thank you for teaching the world. You were greatly loved and will be greatly missed.