Golden Brushtail joey

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Golden Brushtail joey

Last month one of our wildlife volunteers, Lynda was called out to collect a juvenile Golden Brushtail Possum found in deep undergrowth with no mother in sight. The orphaned joey climbed up a tree and a very enthusiastic young lady called Ingrid climbed up to rescue and then called WIRES.

WIRES volunteer Lynda says that when they found him he was just 380g, dehydrated and very nervous. It is wonderful that Ingrid climbed up to get him, he’s a very lucky little possum as we estimate he had been away from his mother for 24 to 48 hours and needed urgent care. He had a tear in his left ear and a bite mark on the underside of his tail, suggesting another animal attacked him. Lynda has “buddied” him up with a small Brushtail possum whose mother was sadly killed by a car. Possum joeys tend to do better in care when they have a buddy of the same species to put them at ease. Both joeys having lost their mums are seek reassurance from each other.

The young Golden Brushtail seems to have a wider spread appetite than other brushtails. He eats a lot of different types of foods and he has put on 100g since he came into care.

Golden Brushtails are an unusual form of the common brushtail possum. Their fluffy golden coats comes from a genetic mutation that results in low levels of melanin in their skin and fur. Unfortunately their colour makes them conspicuous to predators. Because of this, the golden brushtail possum is a rare sight in the wild, being found mostly in small pockets around Tasmania where they have fewer wild predators.

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