The Possum TV
site is still
retired. Footage of nestboxes appears on GK's Possum TV Live
site. GK also has a channel on
, where all of the old possum clips, and many new
ones, can be found. GK is working on additions to his possum site,
which will include bios of various possums and individual galleries,
but for now I will offer a(nother) brief update.
[The photos on this page are mine, with the exception of the Leena
and Zorba photos, which are GK's.]
Švejk is (as of September 2011) about 5 years old, and has been
with us the longest of any possum. He looks fantastic, and seems to
be very fit.
In 2010 he was again treated for a staph infection resulting from a
minor wound, and although the infection proved somewhat treatment
resistant, he eventually recovered fully. He had been in excellent
health until May/June 2011, at which time he was again (successfully)
treated for an infection (this time on both sides of his mouth). It
may be that once a year or so he will continue to develop such
He seems to be particularly fond of the only octagonal possum box,
and keeps returning to it.
Kiki is the possum who lost a toe on her left front foot in 2009. For
the final result, see the photo above. At the time of her recovery,
we thought Kiki had moved away into a different territory. She came
by once in a while to show us a new baby or to sniff around or
scentmark a nestbox, but other than that, we did not see her. In
Spring 2010, Leena and Yoshi stopped coming around, and then Kiki
came back. She has now had 5 babies: Fifi, Ninja, Zorba, Piranha and
Lex. She still occasionally will make a swiping motion with her front
foot when you don't expect it, but most of the time it is almost like
she makes a point of trying to be gentle. Females who have had babies
tend to look kind of worn out, but Kiki seems to be holding up pretty
well. She at times has a very humorous expression, and almost seems
to be smiling with her teeth showing.
Piranha is Kiki's 4th baby, and is a male. For a while, the insides
of Kiki's ears were covered in scratches, and we wondered if Piranha
was biting or scratching her a lot while she slept. Baby possums
often seem to attack their mother's ears while their mothers sleep,
but they also try to stick their small heads into their mother's
ears, and it might be that the shape of the ear reminds them of the
pouch. Piranha has ventured into the house, and has raced madly back
and forth on the balcony.
As of September 2011, Piranha has been fully independent for months
and still drops by when he can for a visit.
Java is Leena's 4th baby. There are some particularly cute videos of
Java in nestboxes - yawning, climbing on/hanging from the camera
itself, and just rolling around on her back. It is possible to see
these videos on GK's site. (Possum TV Live
We haven't seen her for some time now. When Leena and Yoshi stopped
coming around, Java was still here and we thought she might stay, but
when Kiki showed up we stopped seeing Java.
Zorba is Kiki's 3rd baby, and is male. At first, we had
thought he was female. He ventured into the house a lot, and climbed
some of the things that Cocoa originally climbed. We were eating
Greek food the night we discovered he was a male, and that had some
influence on the choice of name. We haven't seen him for quite a
long time now.
As I have mentioned in Possum
, the possums Švejk and Kiki were successfully
treated with antibiotics in 2009, Švejk for a staph infection on
his face, and Kiki for an infection related to a dead toe. In 2010,
there were a lot of infections. It may be that exudative dermatitis
is especially prevalent in brushtail possums that live in tropical or
subtropical locations (this condition frequently seems to result in
infection that requires treatment). It could be that the possums here
were infecting each other. Leena, Yoshi and Švejk all required
treatment with antibiotics. Pesto had a cloaca infection, and also
required treatment. All were successfully treated, and since that
time the possums here have appeared to be infection-free. However,
many possums have moved away, or at least we have not seen them for
some time: Leena, Yoshi, Pesto (this one makes the most sense, as he
seemed to be a male passing through for breeding season), Java and
Zorba. We didn't expect Kiki to come back after she moved away, but
she did. A possum who reminds me of Ninja has visited nestboxes a few
times. Hopefully at least some of the other possums will visit. [The
photo above depicts Leena after her infection cleared up.]
Leena's infection was particularly bad. The small photos above give
an inadequate idea of the severity. The area around her eye was very
swollen and scabbed over, and more bits of infection were visible all
around her face/head. It didn't start out all that bad, and I was
just going to let it be, but suddenly it seemed to get significantly
worse almost overnight. She looked very bedraggled for quite a while.
When her fur grew back, it was a slightly different shade of grey to
the rest of the fur.
Heavy Rain/Flooding 2010-11
I am not sure exactly when, but I think around August 2010 a period
of extreme rain and dampness began. It rained pretty close to every
day for months. The Possum TV house was not located in an area
affected by flooding, but there were areas fairly nearby that were.
The house was very much affected by the constant damp, and there was
a lot of mold and mildew. At around this time possums seemed to stop
using the nestboxes as much, and some of the possums disappeared
altogether. One issue could be that in the flooding, carpet pythons
fled to higher ground, and sought out the property here. There is
footage of a carpet python in one of the nestboxes. It could be that
the possums had to be more careful - especially mothers with babies,
as babies are probably a good size for a python snack.
The ringtail Gumdrop is still around (and during Winter 2011 became a
regular visitor.) For a while, we didn't know for sure she was the
same one, and were calling her Wattle. However, in comparing photos,
we have seen that Gumdrop has a very distinctive scarring pattern on
her face. One thing that is new is that she is now missing a little
piece of one ear. Gumdrop has had babies named Rosebud, Gumnut and a
new one named Chilli. Gumdrop still occasionally sleeps in box #2.
Sometimes she has Chilli with her, or (more frequently at the time of
writing) Chilli sleeps alone in the box. [Update: One day power
company workers were trimming trees near the box Chilli was sleeping
in, and since that time he has not returned to the box.]
A male adult ringtail spotted from time to time was named Stilton.
Kiki and Lex
Lex first made an appearance in late August 2011 (he's Kiki's 5th
baby.) So far he's one of the most orange babies we've had. He began
taking food by hand pretty close to immediately, and Kiki has already
(early September) begun to occasionally leave him on his own even
though he is still very small.
he is a little bigger and
less orange. (This photo was taken by GK about a month
later.) Lex first became tangled in the wires when he attempted to
climb them, but it wasn't long before he worked it out.
Lex died on December 21st, 2011. We think he was hit by a car. A
neighbour found him, and let us know. GK buried Lex in the garden.
The photo above was taken one night before he died. I thought he was
growing into a very strong and healthy-looking possum. It was
getting to the time when he had to find his own place. It could be
that during his search he encountered roads and cars with which he
was previously unfamiliar.
Marlon is a young adult male who had been in the area for a while,
frequently sleeping in nestboxes. His arrival fits the pattern of
some other males who have come to stay for a while before moving on.
He was very shy, though, and it took a very long time before he came
over to say hello. Once he did, it was apparent that he had injuries
that weren't healing properly, and it was necessary to give him
antibiotics. I wasn't sure it would be possible, since he was a very
wary possum, and had only come close to us a few times, but somehow
through the course of treatment his anxiety lifted. He had unusual
wounds on the insides of his front legs that had developed into staph
infections - in a way it almost looked as if he had slit his
'wrists'. Marlon made a full recovery.
Lychee and Wasabi
Lychee and Wasabi are Gumdrop's babies. We do not feed them.
[Note: We later tried, and succeeded to some extent.]
Possum Injuries 2011
In 2011, Svejk was treated for two infections, while Kiki and Marlon
were treated for one each. Click here
to see the
before and after photos. Three occurred within a short time span.
Late spring/early summer (in Australia) may be a particularly
stressful time for the possums here. In previous years, clusters of
infections and accidents have occurred at a similar time.
possum tv 2015
possum tv 2014
possum tv 2012
possum tv 2011
possum tv 2010
Note: I receive both antibiotics and advice from a vet who has
extensive experience treating wildlife - Dr Jim