Posts Tagged ‘Possums’

The plight of a baby possum.

December 20, 2019

Image result for baby ringtail possums

Photo from Google Images.

Yesterday I was determined to water both front and back garden. The last time we had any rain of significance would be many months ago and  from memory well before Helvi became sick, perhaps even before she broke her arms on the 29th of June. I look back now but did not realise that at that time a wonderful live would, like a flickering slow light be extinguished in just a few months later, when as far as we believed death would not be met till a few more years later. We cling to life even though we know we stand up, sit down and lie prostate on the board dying our whole lives long.

The hose was full on and I let it flow close to the ground not wishing to risk burning the leaves when the temperature would rise close to 40C later on, scorching the greens and colouring them a brown, a desolate plight of many gardens in our area right now. You can hear the sound of thirsty trees and desolate shrubs shrinking, as the days go on in relentless drought and scorching heat.

After finishing the watering with our Jack Russell ‘Milo’ making a wise choice to remain inside I noticed a small animal on the mat near the front door. It was soaking wet. At first I thought it was rat but soon changed my mind when I noticed its long tail with a white end. It’s face was also not of a rat. It looked at me all frightened, almost pleading to not ignore it and leave it dying. It was a small baby ringtail possum. Someone told me or I might even have read it, that with marsupials it sometimes happens that the mothers in order to save their own lives will jettison her off-spring and leave them to their own devices and that might then well end up in their deaths. Perhaps with the fires, smoke and general climatic confusion nature is sensing the seriousness of the situation better than we do, or at least better than our stupid politicians.

I closed the door and with Milo inside, I knew it wasn’t him that had somehow been responsible for this little bundle on the mat outside. Milo would not be that callous even though he would not be shy of chasing mature possums running around screaming and grunting all night in their mating frenzy in the tops of our large Manchurian pear trees. This was a baby possum. It was in need of something so I went back outside and it had crawled a short distance of the mat but was now being observed by our neighbour’s cat. Was it the cat that somehow had damaged it preventing it from escaping. I could not judge or even know at what stage a possum can start to walk, climb trees. I did not know its age and could not even guess it. I kept looking at its beady frightened eyes and chased the cat away, scooped it up and put it into an Aldi shopping bag.

I knew that all veterinary places are obliged to take on wild life, so drove with baby in the Aldi bag to one not far from here.  They were pleased to deal with it. The vet checked the baby over and said he did not see any blood or wounds. Why was it not walking? Had it fallen out of the tree, chucked out by its mum? The vet put the little one in its own little cage with soft woolly things to snug into. It must be missing his or her mother! And I hoped that the Aldi bag had not traumatized it even further. It carried al kind of  detergents, fly sprays, minced meats, kangaroo pet meat…!

I phoned the vet later on and he told me the little baby possum was handed over to WIRES which is an organisation that are experts in looking after injured wild life done by volunteers who are doing a wonderful job. I wish the little baby ring tail possum all the best and may it climb trees for many years to come!

https://www.wires.org.au/