Ringtail Possums

In the darkness I watched the silhouette of the possum as it stared back watching me.

It was a young Ring-tailed Possum. I’m thrilled to have them around the garden, though I’m sure they are eating our strawberries. In designing our garden, I am having to make allowances for those creatures that the neighbours said would be around. For example – Ringtail Possums and rats.

Common Ringtail Possum distribution

I’ve not seen rats for quite some months, but I have found baited mice around the place and see the odd one in the vege garden making a quick scurry for shelter. The sighting of the possum in our garden some months back was a welcome sign however as I’m sure they went away once our trees were cut down for the renovation. I remember the neighbour’s dog being found with one.

Ironically I started this post about possums the other week and then last Friday came across a young Ringtail possum that had been bailed up by our friends cat as we called in to visit. I looked around for possible dreys in the nearby trees. Large stick nests that the possums build to sleep in during the day, being nocturnal in nature.

The rescued male baby Ringtail Possum

On returning home we gave it some water and got a warm towel and basket for it to curl up in. It is hard to know what age it was. We phoned a wildlife carer who suggested that if it survived the night (not likely if it had been attacked by the cat in any way due to disease) that we should get some milk for it.

We did this on Saturday morning and were given the number of a wildlife carer who may take the male possum. Given that they are native animals (and endangered at that) it is technically illegal for anyone to care for these animals unless registered as a wildlife carer. I fed the baby some of the milk formula when we got home. Sadly it did not make it much longer after that. It is hard to know how it died, or from what cause exactly. It also had two Kangaroo ticks on its hind foot which we managed to remove when we got home Friday evening with it. It was such a beautiful little creature and I am remined once again of how fortunate we are to have these animals around us here.

I am sure we will have them frequenting our garden more often as our tree cover grows and we have fruiting trees and natives growing.

Further information:

Australian Museum

Animal Diversity.org


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