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Thanks for asking this great question!  

The best answer we can give is that the Virginia legislature has yet to officially recognize this delightful native critter.  

More seriously, the Virginia Opposum, despite its name, is the only marsupial found in North America, not an animal with special ties to Virginia. There is some evidence or at least the existence of a story that the name "opossum" may have been used or coined by Captain John Smith from a word used by the Algonquin Indians. In any event, the possum existed and was recognized by native peoples long before European settlers may have attached "Virginia" to its name.

Thanks for visiting NCpedia!

Kelly Agan, NCpedia Staff