Securing a shared future for wildlife and people

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Brush-tailed possum being handraised

A Keeper at Taronga Western Plains Zoo is currently hand raising an orphaned Brush-tailed Possum which is estimated to be less than six months old. The baby Possum was found alongside his deceased mother in a family’s backyard at Tomingley and brought to the Zoo’s Wildlife Hospital.

At the moment this little possum weighs a tiny 117g and at this stage of his life it is vital that he eats and drinks plenty of food and milk to ensure he will continue to grow and put on weight at a healthy rate. He is currently being fed four times a day by his carer and enjoys eating diced fruit and native blossoms. To ensure he is still receiving all of the necessary nutrients that he would get from his mother’s milk, his carer feeds him a special milk replacement as well.

The possum spends the majority of his time in a makeshift pouch which provides similar darkness and warmth to that of his mother’s pouch, making him feel safe and secure. He will continue to be intensively cared for over the next few weeks before returning to the Wildlife Hospital for the final stage of rehabilitation. Once the possum grows to within a healthy weight range and veterinary staff are confident he will be able to survive on his own, he will be released back into the wild.

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