Baby possum beats the odds thanks to Northern Rivers carers
A BABY possum, who had small chance of surviving, has been nursed back to health by WIRES Northern Rivers.
The animal rescue organisation posted this on their Facebook page:
"Tackita is a female Mountain Brushtail that came into care at just 59 gram on the 19th January.
"A Mountain Brushtail possum this young is rarely able to be reared as it is just too young.
"If there is any injury what so ever, if the joey is left to go even slightly cold before being found it is almost impossible to save them.
"Tackita was rescued after a motorist spotted a possum on the road desperately trying to retrieve her joey that was also on the road.
"Possums are not in a position to " pick up" their young, the little one has to climb into the pouch itself whilst mum tries to make it as easy as possible opening her pouch and encouraging her joey.
"Possum joeys do not leave the safety of mums pouch before they are what we call velvet, that means they have a fine covering of fur, their eyes are open and they are strong enough to climb in and out of the pouch.
"At first they climb straight up onto mums back, and back into the pouch after only a short time.
"As they get stronger they may venture a bit further and try their skills at climbing onto a branch whilst mum is foraging very close by.
"This little possum was much too young to be out of the pouch and she was not strong enough to get back in.
"The motorist stood back knowing that disturbance would result in mum having no choice but to leave.
"Sadly it was all in vain, the joey was just too small to get back into the pouch.
"Although there were no visible injuries on mum she had most likely been hit by a car which is how the tiny joey had fallen out.
"Tackita had no fur, her eyes were not yet open, she was only 3 months old.
"It would be another two months before she would be big enough to climb out of mums pouch for short periods of time.
"The motorist was quick to pick up the joey and keep her warm when mum finally gave up as there was no choice but to leave her joey behind, she disappeared into the bush.
"WIRES was contacted straight away and the joey taken into care. She was still nice and warm and she had no injuries.
"Had the joey been more developed we would have tried to reunite mum and joey, even gone back the following evening in order to try to reunite.
"Unfortunately one this young would get too cold in the time it would take for mum to hear her joey call, she would also not be able to hang onto a branch for mum to collect her and we already knew the joey was too young to climb back in even if all of the above could be managed.
"It is a huge commitment fo a carer to attempt to care for a marsupial this young, they are fed 3 hourly around the clock, and there is no respite for many weeks.
"In many cases they do not make it past the first week due to complications or injury not visible at first. This in itself can be an emotional roller coaster.
"Tackita however never looked back; in fact she thrived in care. As she grew she was given a soft toy to cling to, it became her substitute mum.
"She is now 263gms and very independent. She drinks her special possum formula from a D cup all by herself in the enclosure where she is now housed; she has started eating foliage and even goes to the toilet by herself.
"Tackita will be buddied up with another Mountain Brushtail possum and eventually they will make their way back into the wild together.
"That is still many months away, till then Tackita enjoys snuggling up with her snuggle possum."