Experts say that possums, as well as every other animal everywhere, should be kept living, if at all possible.

WASHINGTON—Saying it was imperative that citizens take action now to help protect the natural world, the World Wildlife Fund urged Americans Thursday to just grab whatever animal they can find and try to keep it alive for as long as possible.

Leaders of the conservation group, who cited the ongoing mass extinction of species that has resulted from rising global temperatures and irreversible habitat loss, said U.S. residents should immediately locate the closest animal to them, pick it up, hold it in a protective embrace, and then do everything in their power to prevent it from dying.

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“We cannot afford to wait another second to preserve our fragile ecosystems, which is why we’re asking everyone to go look out your window right now, and if you see any form of animal life—any kind at all—go grab it and do whatever you can so that it keeps living,” director of communications Beth Soto told assembled reporters, stressing that Americans must not hesitate to act and pointing citizens to meadows, public parks, the branches of trees, and other areas that are likely to contain animals they can assist. “We just ask that you make sure the animal is alive when you pick it up and that you check it every once in a while after that to make sure it’s still alive. If it begins to look like it’s dying, try to feed it or hydrate it or help it in some other way until it looks like it’s not dying anymore.”

“It doesn’t matter if it’s a lizard, a bat, a muskrat, or a fish,” she continued. “At this point, we’re asking you to protect literally any animal you come across.”

Soto emphasized that humans no longer have time to pick and choose which species they wish to preserve, and their only remaining hope is to direct their efforts toward saving whatever creatures happen to be nearby, whether that means running into their own backyard and scooping up a squirrel, picking up ants, beetles, and other insects they may spot on the sidewalk, or stopping their car, running out to grab a Canada goose from the roadside, and pulling it to warmth and safety in the backseat of their vehicle.

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Officials from the World Wildlife Fund further pleaded with citizens to use whatever makeshift means they have at their disposal to keep the animals from perishing, underscoring their point by noting that some marine creatures—including frogs, beavers, trout, and small- to medium-sized sharks—can be kept in one’s bathtub, and that anyone with a spare bedroom could be using it to protect a family of groundhogs, a colony of bees, or a single large animal, such as a bison or panther.

“If you happen to be looking at an animal right at this moment, please stop listening to me and go help that animal continue living,” said Soto, who noted that many animals could be fed basic household food items, but added that it would be wise to consult the internet to determine if the particular species in one’s possession has strict dietary requirements. “To be honest, you don’t even really have to keep it all that healthy—alive is good enough. As long as it keeps taking breaths, that’s a good thing. We’re really not that picky at this point.”

“And frankly, it doesn’t even have to be an animal,” she added. “If you’re able to grab a small plant or some grass and help it survive, that’s great too.”

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Sources confirmed that Soto then abruptly ended her remarks mid-sentence, rushed out of the briefing room and onto the adjacent courtyard, and lunged headlong toward a perched sparrow.