SREL Reprint #0089




Effect of Acute Gamma Radiation on Wild Opossum, Gray Fox, Raccoon and Bobcat

F. B. Golley, E. L. Rauber, E. L. Morgan, and J. H. Jenkins



The radiation response to acute 137Cs radiation was tested in wild-trapped opossums, raccoons, gray foxes and bobcats collected on the AEC Savannah River Plant, Aiken, South Carolina.  The LD50/30 for the raccoons and gray foxes was 580 and 710 R respectively.  Data were insufficient to determine the LD50/30 for the opossums and bobcats; however, the relationship between average survival and dose indicated that the opossum appeared to be the least sensitive species tested and the bobcat the least resistant.  In general, decedent wild mammals did not exhibit symptoms of radiation sickness, other than anorexia, until several days before death.  Lethality in these wild species was within reported limits for domesticated or laboratory mammals of approximately the same body weight.


SREL Reprint #0089

Golley, F.B., E.L. Rauber, E.L. Morgan, and J.H. Jenkins. 1965. Effect of acute gamma radiation on wild opossum, gray fox, raccoon and bobcat. Health Physics 11:1573-1576

To request a reprint