Brushtail and Ringtail possums are the most common possums you will see. As with all native animals, possums are a protected species.
Possums are nocturnal and are not normally seen during the day. If you see a sick, injured or orphaned possum or a possum out during the day please call WIRES Rescue Line on 1300 094 737 or fill in the Rescue Form.
Ringtail possums are smaller than Brushtail possums and they have a white tip at the end of their tails. If you find an orphaned baby ringtail, please look carefully to see whether you can see any others needing rescue as well, as ringtail possums commonly produce twins and occasionally triplets.
If you have found a sick or injured possum it will need to see a vet before coming into care. If you are able to safely contain the possum, you can keep it in a quiet, dark, warm place e.g. wrapped in a towel in a ventilated box or carrier with a lid while you transport it to the nearest vet.
IMPORTANT: If you are containing a possum please ensure you are wearing a jacket or long sleeves to reduce the risk of being scratched and wear a face mask in addition to gloves when containing the animal. Gently place a towel over the animal and place it in a ventilated box with a lid and transport it carefully to the nearest vet or wait for the rescuer to arrive. After placing the animal in the box you should immediately wash your hands or use hand sanitiser.
If you let WIRES know where you’ve taken the possum we will follow up directly with the vet to bring it into care after it’s been vet assessed and received any necessary treatment.
Due to habitat loss possums sometimes resort to living in chimneys and the roof cavities of sheds and houses. WIRES volunteers cannot assist with roof repairs and relocation but we are able to provide you with information to assist you in complying with National Parks and Wildlife regulations.
For more information read our Possum Factsheet.