The woodchuck (Marmota monax) has proven to be an invaluable animal model of human disease. Northeastern Wildlife's woodchucks are used for pre-clinical studies for compounds active against Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) and Hepatitis D Virus (HDV) and for hibernation research.

Captive-Born Woodchucks

Northeastern Wildlife established the first commercial colony of captive-born, bred and infected woodchucks for WHV studies. The positives of using captive born woodchucks are obvious: the infectious virus pool is known, the age at which they were infected is known, and environmental factors are controlled. Captive-born animals are innoculated at three days of age and are available at six months of age. The problem inherent with using animals at three to six months of age is natural sero-conversion of antigenemic animals . Whenever performing an anti-viral strategy utilizing woodchucks, you want to be sure they are chronic carriers or you will jeopardize your study, losing time and money. We will sell infected juveniles prior to three months of age but will not guarantee their serological status past two weeks. Prices depend upon serological status and age. Please inquire for more information.

Wild-Caught Woodchucks

Wild-caught woodchucks are by far our most utilized animals. To assess the initial efficacy of a new anti-HBV compound in-vivo, it is usually much more cost- effective to use wild-caught animals as these are more available and less expensive than captive- born and infected animals.

Our wild-caught woodchucks are live trapped by our personnel in both WHV antigenemic areas and traditionally WHV clean areas for negative control animals. After capture, an initial accession occurs where a basic health inspection is completed and a blood sample taken to assess their serological state. Woodchucks are isolated based on if they come from an area sero-negative or sero-positive for WHV. Animals testing positive for WHV have a second blood sample taken 30-45 days after initial testing to confirm their serological status. WHV positive animals liver enzymes are also tested to assess presence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Northeastern Wildlife provides WHV positive woodchucks, WHV negative or clean woodchucks and WHV recovered woodchucks. Health and serology are guaranteed for thirty days after shipping. Please inquire for more information regarding price and availability.

Woodchucks with Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC)

We receive many requests for woodchucks in the advanced stages of liver disease or hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). These animals are provided on a first-come first-served basis. Please inquire for more information regarding price and availability.


The Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginianis) has been used extensively since the late sixties for the study of human disease. The opossum is an excellent animal model for the study of Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES) dysfunction and induced pancreatitis. The virginia opossum is North America's only marsupial. Young are born 13 days post conception and continue their development in the female's pouch. Because pouch young are easily available and observed, they make an excellent model for the study of neo-natal development.

Northeastern Wildlife's opossums are wild-caught. After capture, they are accessioned and acclimated to the laboratory. Opossums are scavengers and are thus heavily parasitized. Opossums receive two doses of Ivomec and Panacur, two weeks apart. Opossums are also chronic carriers of Salmonella spp. Please inquire as to cost.