This entry is something of a 10 Year Anniversary special. In 2004, a persistent little possum who was eventually named Ginger decided that she wanted to know more about humans.

The first Possum TV site was retired in 2010. Originally, I created that site because I thought it would suck if people didn't get a chance to see GK's amazing photos, but I hoped some day that he would do his own thing. I sort of pestered him from time to time, suggesting pretty much what he has now successfully launched: three different aspects of the whole. Footage of nestboxes appears on GK's Possum TV Live site. GK also has a Possum TV blog and a channel on YouTube, where all of the old possum clips, and many new ones, can be found.

[The photos on this page were taken by me, with the exception of the Ginger photo and the one of Švejk at the end of treatment in 2012.]

Amiri 2013

Amiri has grown up and no longer visits. It is impossible to know if he is still alive, but his mother Kiki is a good teacher, and Amiri himself had a remarkable ability to come and go without making a sound.

The usual pattern here is that there is one dominant female, one dominant male, and one other male who doesn't stay permanently. The second male will usually be about 2 years old when he is first spotted, and sometimes will develop rufous colouring during his stay.

The dominant female's babies are usually allowed to stay (roughly) until her next baby comes out of the pouch. Amiri stayed in the area a little longer, but managed to avoid visiting when Kiki was here with Oz. Kiki's daughter Flea was kicked out by Kiki just before Flea's first baby began back-riding.

Pinot reaching for Flea's tail 2012

I am still very attached to possums, and still spend a lot of time with them, but it is important for me to try to create a kind of independence for myself, and to encourage GK to have his. I want to speak for myself. There is a lot of pressure for people to form couples, and it is difficult for people to see alternatives, including the kind of alternative family arrangement GK and I have. His possum sites are his. My aim is to move out on my own. It will be difficult to leave the possums here. I am trying to take what small steps I can toward that aim.

With this entry, I'm not really going to update much (I will leave that to GK on his various sites), but what I will do is try to explain about how my relationship and thinking regarding possums have evolved.

Wasabi and Spock 2013

I am not sure if Wasabi and Spock were friends, but they did often seem to hang out together, and sometimes this was quite comical. Often Wasabi seemed to be teasing Spock or playing with his tail.

When Spock was in Kiki's pouch in early 2013, there were some major stressors in the area. 4 male possums (a highly unusual number for this area) might have been fighting over this territory. Švejk, (6 years old - by far the oldest), disappeared first, one of the others who hadn't been seen in months, Wesley, showed up with a really deep and nasty shoulder infection, and Pinot and Marlon were seen occasionally, until they stopped visiting altogether. There is an incredible variety and amount of foliage on the property, and it is possible that this place is a highly desirable piece of possum real estate.

During all of this Kiki herself was quite stressed, and while Spock was in it, she tore her pouch somehow. The wound looked shockingly raw and painful, but healed well. He probably felt this stress while in the pouch, which perhaps eventually resulted in the development of a small patch of exudative dermatitis on his nose. Long after it was treated, he still had a small scar - this is unusual, because all other possums treated would eventually get their fur back.

Spock 2013 (the scar isn't visible
from this angle)

The fascinating thing was that Kiki would seem to bring Spock for treatment. She herself had a couple of swollen toes, and there was some worry that whatever had happened to cause the first one to go black/die years ago was happening to her other toes. She would not accept antibiotics, but would wait nearby. Spock would leave her back and come forward, and take Ceclor directly from a syringe. For most possums, Ceclor is absorbed into a piece of wholewheat pita bread, but he was still so small it would have taken him forever to eat it, and he might not have been able to as he was still at a mainly suckling stage. When he had taken his dose he would return to Kiki's back.

Kiki's pouch and toes healed well. She had originally accepted some antibiotic for the pouch wound, but when the toes were inflamed, she would not. Maybe she knew she didn't need it.

Wasabi, in 2013 before his medical issues

A detailed description of what happened with Wasabi can be found on GK's Possum TV blog. (It has a happy ending, or a happy outcome, in an ongoing story.)

Exudative dermatitis is thought to be brought on by stress, and in particular, stress related to overpopulation. There are now 5 possum boxes and 1 sugarglider box here, and most of the time, most of them aren't in use. It should solve overpopulation-related housing scarcity, but for some reason it doesn't. What does that mean? It's difficult to work out. In years past, sometimes there were a few possums in different boxes on a given day, and now it's fairly rare that they sleep in boxes, with the exception of box 7, which is situated in the garage, not outside. It could be about a fear of pythons: Wasabi's mother and one of her babies were killed by a python in one of the possum boxes. Some ringtails here have been observed in makeshift dreys in the daytime, and what this might mean is that it's a necessary precaution not to get too cosy, in case it is necessary to flee. It might be easier to hear or see the approach of a python in loosely-constructed dreys.

Destruction of habitat, dogs, cats, cars, pythons, owls.. these are some of the stresses that possums face. Also, there are some humans who might pose a threat. One neighbour here really doesn't like possums and seems to think of them as horrible, unclean pests. Would some people actually go so far as to kill possums? It's not unheard of.

How do we know Wasabi is Wasabi? Why wasn't he with his mother and sibling in the nestbox when the python attacked?

There are various different angles here. When a mother ringtail has babies, sometimes she has three, but when this occurs, one of them tends to disappear fairly quickly. When it comes to the other two, or occasions when the mother only gives birth to two, for a while mother and babies will sleep together, but footage of nestboxes has shown that later on, the mother might sleep on her own in a nestbox, the two babies might sleep together without the mother, one baby might sleep alone in a nestbox, or the mother might sleep with one but not the other - without it being a permanent arrangement. The sleeping arrangements vary, and this might be how young ringtails are prepared to live independently. Time and again when a mother was seen without babies, or with only one, the lost one/s would later show up again.

Wasabi and Lychee visited the handrail with their mother before the python attack. One night, when Wasabi was offered a piece of food, Wasabi panicked and fell off the handrail onto the patio below. It was quite a fall and we were worried, but he immediately picked himself up, raced along the ground and climbed a small gum tree. GK then took photos of him, and later, when 'Wasabi' returned after the attack which claimed his mother's life, we had these photos with which we could compare markings.

When it comes to brushtails here, there are usually more males than females, but with ringtails, it seems it's the other way around. Wasabi seems to have at least two girlfriends, and possibly many offspring.

Kiki and Oz

Oz is Kiki's 10th baby. Kiki is now over 6 years old. I have read on the web that possums in the wild can live 12-13 years, but suburbia is not exactly the wild, and from what I've seen so far, she has lived much longer than most. One of Kiki's jobs is to watch for pythons or other dangers, and it is interesting to note the ways that Oz seems to be emulating her behaviour. He's very friendly and energetic, but also seems to want to give Kiki a break from her python-watching duties. They take turns, so sometimes it will be that one will visit up close while the other stands guard, and the next day they will switch roles. [April-May 2014]

In urban or suburban areas, in reality most possums might only live to be about 2-3, if they survive into adulthood at all. Švejk was 6 when he disappeared in December 2012, and he was the oldest male I have had contact with.

Kiki is fierce, intelligent, and bright-eyed, and copes well with each new baby. I don't know how the possum laws work. In many places, it seems that females outnumber males, but in all the years Kiki has been here, no other adult female brushtails have been seen - until recently. A possum with a white-tipped tail who resembles Kiki's daughter Flea has recently been spotted many times, and this makes me wonder if she's just stopping in for a visit, or if she's trying to take over Kiki's territory [Added later: it seems that this possum is likely a male possum, not Flea]. Is it possible that competition is intense here for reasons other than overpopulation? Is it an exceptionally desirable territory? (Abundant foliage, availability of seasonal fruits and medical benefits?)


There might be two possums referred to as Dexter. However, one has been here for some time now.

At the time Švejk disappeared in December 2012, some of the other known males: Marlon, Pinot and Wesley, were around for a time, but at a certain point none of them were here any more. I don't know if that means that Dexter was the one who 'won' this territory. Maybe his strategy was to let the others wear each other down while he waited in the wings. Dexter appears in the first possum mating video GK has ever uploaded to YouTube. Kiki also appears. Pinot had previously been photographed mating with both Flea and Kiki (separately; it wasn't a threesome), but these were still photos, not movies.

[This reminds me: in one of my earlier Possum TV updates, I said that Kiki and Pinot made a hell of a lot of noise, and I would now like to clarify. While they were having sex in front of me they weren't vocal, but as they moved off into the distance, with Pinot following Kiki, one would make a loud call (often referred to on Possum TV as 'puffing'), and then the other would respond with a similarly loud call, and I think this went on back and forth between the two for a half an hour or so. I haven't heard anything similar since.]

I wonder if Dexter had observed the goings on in the area for some time. If he realized how special the other possums were here, maybe he is self-conscious about 'winning'. He is hesitant to make contact, but from what I have seen, he's a lovely possum, and would be welcome here.

Švejk December 2012

It was difficult for me when Švejk stopped visiting. I had no way of knowing what had happened. I knew he was much older than the other possums, but he still looked quite fit. He seemed quite intelligent, and had extremely good depth perception. His aim and his movements were very sure and confident. But aside from that, he had a certain 'perceptive' quality that I first associated with Blackbeard. And Švejk was the last of Cocoa's babies left alive.

In 2008, I was on my own here and saw a possum that looked a little familiar. I said 'Švejk!' and the possum's head snapped right around, and he looked at me for a very long time. He came forward and took food not long after. I don't think this proves it was him, or that he remembered the humans, but I remember the moment. He hadn't been seen for over a year, but then stayed in the area, showing up from time to time, and then became the dominant male here for many years.

Blackbeard 2007

Blackbeard was the first possum to be treated with antibiotics for exudative dermatitis. At first it didn't seem likely the small wound near his mouth was any big deal. It would look a little better, then it would get only a little worse, but when it hadn't cleared up in several months, it became evident there was something wrong. He wasn't visiting often during these months - usually only once every few weeks or so - and so by the time it was obvious something had to be done, we weren't really prepared.

The picture above was taken when his infection was bad. But, he looks happy, and the infection is on the other side of his face. There are some ugly photos of the infection and some of the story on the following linked page, but you will have to search or scroll (and click links):

->Blackbeard October 2007

Queek 2007

Both Blackbeard's infection and Queek's scary eye injury might have related to them fighting each other for this territory. For more about Queek (you will have to search or scroll and click links):

->Queek November 2007


When it came to administering antibiotics, GK was the first one to measure and give doses to Blackbeard, but when Queek also needed antibiotics, GK was called away for a work trip, and so while he was away, I took over treating possums, and did it thereafter with all possums. It is helpful when GK is here, because he is a very good photographer, and if he takes care of documenting the progress, I can focus on dosing possums.

Originally, I didn't take many of the possum photos, but I did take the ones of Blackbeard (kind of blurry) and Queek above with my camera. I didn't know how to use GK's camera, and mine wasn't as good for photographing wildlife. I learned how to use his camera while treating various possums for exudative dermatitis - to document the treatment, it was necessary to have high resolution photos. GK's work often has required him to be away for 2-3 weeks at a time, and during some of those times it was necessary for me to be the one photographing, as well as treating possums. Somewhere along the line I also started taking some non-treatment-related photos with his camera.

Most of the time now, I concentrate on visiting with a possum and don't take photos.

Blackbeard received ('black market') Clavulox before I found a way to get antibiotics legally for him (and Queek, who had just shown up with a really scary looking pus-filled eye, which created a need for a larger amount of antibiotics). But, he disappeared before the treatment could be finished, and I have always felt bad that I wasn't quick enough to help him sooner. If it had been recognized that his infection needed treatment earlier, maybe he would have experienced the boost of confidence that comes with recovering from an infection, and he could have better defended his territory. But what would that have meant for Queek? That he'd have to go to another territory and fight again, this time a little worse for wear, and untreated?

It could be that after this I was a little trigger-happy on the antibiotics, but I did not want to be too slow to recognize a problem. And the fact that possums are unpredictable can mean a possum might go out there and die a slow horrible death, and so sometimes all I can do is make the best call possible. However trigger-happy I might have been, I was reasonable enough to seek diagnoses from a vet.

Survival of the Fittest

If 'weak' possums are given antibiotics, when they 'should' be the ones to die off, will their offspring be 'weak', and is this something that should be avoided?

Over time, it occurred to me was that it was not the 'weak' possums, or exclusively the young or old who developed exudative dermatitis. It seemed to me that it was actually likely for any possum who lived 2-3 years to have it eventually. It was the norm, rather than the exception - in this stressful neighbourhood. By the age of 2-3, most will have bred, and this is what 'survival of the fittest' means: surviving and earning the right to reproduce. Most of the possums treated have already reproduced, before they are treated.

I realize that many people will say 'you probably caused it [exudative dermatitis] by feeding them', and I realize that looking at the original Possum TV site, there is a lot of bad behaviour there when it came to feeding possums, but that sort of thing doesn't happen now, and.. the relevant issue is that it seems unlikely that any of that caused exudative dermatitis. Exudative dermatitis is thought to be a stress-related condition, brought on by the complications related to the destruction of habitat. Most of the possums treated here weren't regular visitors when they showed up with a problem. And in the early years (beginning in 2004), before major development of the neighbourhood, no cases of exudative dermatitis were observed.

Anybody concerned with possums' weight should not jump to the conclusion they are overfed. Possums look radically different photographed from different angles on the same day. Their bodies are designed to protect them, and when it comes to females, if they don't actually have a baby in the pouch, their skin might be stretched from having babies. Any creature who's had a certain amount of babies will find the skin doesn't bounce back the way it used to.

The main reason for offering antibiotics is a quality of life issue. Humans have eroded the possums' quality of life by destroying their habitat to make way for human homes and the obligatory lawn with only a few decoratively compatible trees, and introducing stresses such as dogs, cats and cars. Some humans might have a wish to make up for this. Possums were here first, but have no rights. Dogs or cats with skin infections would be given antibiotics.

When it comes to evolution: perhaps one day humans will be extinct and massive grizzly possums will roam the earth..

Cocoa 2005

Were Queek and Švejk really the same possums Cocoa had raised? Well, it's difficult to know for sure, but since their mother was dead, it seems more likely they'd return to her territory than if she were still alive, because presumably they couldn't mate with their mother. Photos and markings were compared, and it really did at least seem possible these were the same possums. There are many photos of Švejk, and it is possible to note the changes over the years while still recognizing it is the same possum.

Do people wonder if I have some kind of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy thing going on?

One of the risks in being involved with wildlife is that if you're not seen as acting like a dumb human who won't leave well enough alone, you might actually be seen as a pathetic crazy who seeks attention through animal over-involvement.

It's not that easy to get to know me, and it makes sense to be suspicious of me. I'm strange in various ways, and when trying to categorize me, where do I fit? I can say that I don't try to make possums ill so that I can treat them, but I think in order to believe me, it might be necessary for people to know me on an individual basis. Over time, my patterns and motivations would become evident.

I am not sure if my depression affects possums. This is something that worries me. When I see them, I don't think I ever project depression - I am glad to see them, use enthusiastic and friendly or gentle tones, and it's not forced, it's not pretend. But they live and sleep in the area, and maybe they hear or absorb other vibes at other times.

I think the issue is that this neighbourhood, for various reasons, is a stressful place for possums. Three large carpet pythons have been seen and photographed here, as well as some smaller ones. The possums might not be able to sleep in the nestboxes for fear of python attacks, and maybe most of the sleeping places they do find require them to sleep with one eye open. There are many possum-friendly trees on this property, but many nearby houses have few or even none. Most people here do have dogs and/or cats, and these are a threat to possums. Increased development in the neighbourhood has led to increased traffic, (increased risk that possums could be hit by cars), including that the traffic is faster-moving. Comments by a (young) human overheard included: 'Shoot it!' upon observing a ringtail possum on a power line, and it seems this sort of attitude was likely passed on by older family members, and/or peers.

Carpet Python 2012

The carpet pythons have as much right to be here as the possums, and of course they need something to eat. Perhaps if I had bonded with a carpet python my behaviour might be a little different.

There is a large area at the back of the house where the possums feel safe visiting, and I wouldn't want that to change. When pythons show up there, it is likely because they know there's a good chance possums will be there. I don't want them to think of it as some kind of Drive Thru (Slither Thru) where they can easily pick up some Possum McNuggets to go. I have basically spent hours studying their movements and 'standing guard' in case they would try to attack a possum there. Different methods have been employed to encourage them to leave: throwing a bucket of water at them, shaking a tree or thumping it to produce vibrations, or using a long pole to nudge the python gently in strategic places. I think the last thing probably works best (for me, while I think GK prefers to heave a bucket of water). It is not about hurting the python, but trying to give the message that getting a snack isn't going to be so easy or convenient as they might like.

GK and I have both taken turns at this sort of 'discouragement'. I think it's possible that the possums are also concerned about us, or more concerned for our safety than theirs. One time when GK went close to a python's head to photograph it, Kiki was extremely alert, and would not take her eyes off the python or leave the area until GK was no longer 'in danger'. On another occasion, I was freaked out for Švejk, who was close to a python but acting nonchalant. He seemed to interpret my concern to mean that I was afraid of the python, and so he actually followed it closely as it departed (and puffed at it), which freaked me out further. (The puffing might have been a warning to any other possums nearby.)

For the most part, it's probably best to trust the possums' instincts, or not give them something else to factor in or worry about, or something that will actually throw their concentration off.

I realize that this stance is unfair in favour of possums. I don't think I could bring myself to watch while a python devoured a possum. I mean, I forced myself to watch a video of this sort of thing on YouTube, to know the realities about what was possible as far as what size python could eat a possum, and what the process is.. but I could not think of any possum I have known as expendable. Writing, I can see the unfairness. The pythons are just doing what is natural, and they want to survive. Why do possums deserve special consideration? It's for an 'emotional', not a rational reason.

Possum Rats

My reflex is to jump when I see a mouse or rat, but a few rats here have helped me to relax a little.

Years ago, there was a rat spotted a few times who seemed to want Cocoa to be its mother. It tried to cuddle up close to her on a branch like a baby possum, and it followed her around a bit. She was impatient with it, and it was only seen a few times.

Then there was Pita. Pita was living in the laundry room, and it was decided that a 'humane trap' would be put out to catch Pita. First the trap was laid out flat, and bits of pita bread were put on it, then it was prepared properly, and pita bread was put on top of it, and eventually inside. Pita never got caught, but managed to get the pita bread. For a while Pita was allowed to stay in the laundry, and every night I would vacuum up poo. When I was sitting at the computer in the workroom (across from the laundry), I would sometimes talk to Pita. GK eventually closed up all entries, Pita and Pita's poo were no longer seen in the laundry, and before long Pita was spotted near the possum visiting area - and for a brief time, Pita picked up scraps there. The problem of having a rat in the house was solved without the rat having to be caught or killed.

Scruffles is quite possibly still out there [possible sighting May 2.] He seemed to want to become a possum, or he was smart enough to copy possum behaviour because it would mean he would get food. On one occasion, I went outside to put some pita bread out for him, but I was uncertain as to where to place it such that it was convenient for him. This spot on the handrail? That one? On the balcony floor near a branch I had seen him utilizing? Undecided, I put the pita bread down in each spot before changing my mind. I eventually settled for a spot on the handrail. When Scruffles arrived, he collected the bread, then showed me he had been watching - he traced the path of all the places I had put the bread down, in order. He was showing me that I could put it anywhere, and he would be able to find it. At a certain point it seemed that he didn't want bread just left for him, he wanted to be handfed, like a possum. Instead of coming forward to take bread from the handrail, he would sit on a branch and wait, like a possum. At first I was nervous, because he moved much more quickly than a possum and I didn't know if my nervousness would make him nervous and he'd accidentally bite me.. But then when he did take food by hand I felt kind of like I had overcome a fear, and was also quite proud of Scruffles. He and Amiri had some confrontations, and Kiki also lunged at him a few times, and so I think it's possible that he was discouraged from regular visitation.

Possums and Humans

GK has done an incredible job of making nestboxes, installing cameras, not to mention all the work that went into programming everything such that footage in nestboxes would be saved, and later clipped into movies for Possum TV. I wonder if some day someone will want to talk to GK about Possum TV. He has accumulated an incredible amount of data of possibly scientific value, and it's also possible that some of what I remember could help when it comes to filling in some important blanks.

GK created a very warm and inviting aviary for Wasabi when Wasabi required treatment. The story can be found on GK's Possum TV blog.

GK and Wasabi 2013

Through different kinds of mistakes humans sometimes made in dealing with animals we have come to learn a lot more about particular species. When animals have no one else to help them, is it better to have an inexperienced human than no one? Are the relationships and bonds 'real' to the animal? In many cases, it would seem so. Should species stay with their own species? What about when one's territory overlaps onto another's or if they share a territory? Should they make every effort to avoid all contact? Or is it possible that some interaction and compromise would be a positive thing?

Outpatient vs Inpatient

I'm not sure if it's clear, but aside from Wasabi the ringtail, all possums here have been treated on an outpatient basis. I am not sure it's clear to people what the difficulties involved with this might be. A course of antibiotics is normally 5 days, twice a day. When it comes to an outpatient possum, it can be challenging to give a dose once a day. However, the antibiotic Ceclor is quite effective, even with a once a day dose, for 10 days. Possums like it better than Clavulox, and it is extremely well-tolerated. Clavulox is the antibiotic most often given to dogs and cats - a taste test will show that it is more bitter tasting than the sweet artifical strawberry-flavoured Ceclor.

Even possums who visit regularly might not visit 10 nights in a row, and many of the patients have been new possums who are unused to humans. It could be that Ceclor is like the most delicious possum treat in the world, which results in no possum wanting to miss out on it while the Ceclor tree is 'fruiting', but they do have to receive it at least once in order to know that.

To date, every possum who has ever accepted Ceclor once has returned for a full course, and has been cleared of infection. The record is not as good with Clavulox.

Even though I realize it might very well be only about the Ceclor and the desire to have a treat, there is still a kind of ritual I go through with each possum. It is possible it is about trying to form a bond with the possum. When the possum receives the first dose, I will establish eye contact with the possum, and speak in gentle tones. The words probably don't matter. It's the tone and intent that have to be conveyed, and trust established. I usually say something like: 'You must try to visit every night for the next 10 days, or as many days as you can. The infection can be fixed, but you have to visit. Try as hard as you can. I will wait for you.'

And I maintain eye contact, and keep speaking until I see what I have come to think of as 'the look'. There is a certain something in the expression that seems to register something I have communicated. OK, realistically.. it's the Ceclor that clears up the infection, but maybe it's better for me if I at least have the illusion I have bonded with the possum, which makes me more invested in making sure the treatment is completed.

Svejk at the end of treatment in 2012

For possums, it could be that outpatient treatment is preferable to inpatient, whenever possible. It is best to avoid as much stress as possible, especially if the condition a possum has might be stress-related. However, I do realize that for many people this might not be practical. I'm nocturnal, and don't have a job. So, staying up all night is not a big thing for me. For many possums, I have had to be very alert, and have had to devise various tricks to make it easier for possums to visit, but for me the unthinkable thing would be not to do it. I can't send them off into the world with an infection that might slowly and horribly kill them. I see treating the infection as not only giving them more time, it's about increasing the quality of whatever time they do have.

There's a point during treatment when it becomes obvious the infection is clearing (usually around 4-5 days), and the possum will actually seem more confident and energetic. It is an amazing thing to see.

It is possible that part of what helps relates to knowing that someone is on their side. Possums are solitary, and mostly just fight with each other.

I think it might be a good idea to try to give possums equal attention. I think it's possible that if certain possums are singled out, others get jealous, or might lose confidence. When treating possums, this can pose difficulties, because the one requiring treatment will seem to be getting all the attention. When one is being treated, I try to put extra effort into making sure the others know they matter, too.

Wildlife Caring

If I genuinely care for possums, why not try to get more involved in wildlife caring, fulltime?

Marlon 2012

I think the reason I am effective in treating wildlife here relates to the uniqueness of the situation. I care about these possums and have come to see their patterns and behaviours and personalities as a natural extension of my life here. At the root, my life is not healthy. To become involved with more wildlife, I would probably have to be more involved with people, and I don't think I'm at a stage where that would work. It would turn something that is authentic for me into something forced.

Possums experience stress because of humans. Much or most of the land cleared in this country has resulted in the deaths of much wildlife. Most people don't think about it. But in reality, if none were killed, would there be any humans here? Is the point to save as many as possible? I think what I do here is to concentrate on a few, and give them as good a quality of life as possible.. but what seems likely to me is that more land will eventually be cleared, and the descendants of the possums I know will face increasing stress.

Does it make more sense to see the big picture, and to try to think about preserving forests and places where possums don't have to worry about humans and human-related threats? Should I branch out into trying to help more nearby possums?

Wildlife caring is well-respected in the country, but most Australians don't seem to know much about wildlife, or how their behaviours and preferences affect wildlife. Most wildlife caring is about hand-rearing orphans, and it's very cute to see the little ones grow up healthy. In reality, how many of the released ones survive?

It actually makes sense for wildlife caring to be expanded into caring for those with minor problems who can be treated as outpatients, but this is less practical. A baby can be kept in a house and then released later, but a possum treated in its own territory probably has a better chance of survival. How practical would it be to teach people about how to do this in their own backyards? To learn to live with the existing wildlife and recognize their charms, rather than think of them as a nuisance? I realize it might mean rethinking a lifestyle, as well as gardening choices.

Domesticated vs Wild

The hard part for humans relates to unpredictability and I guess ownership. Dogs and cats have assigned roles. There are responsibilities, and there is expected behaviour, and there is an expected lifespan. The pet is there when people come home from wherever. It has been acquired partly for that reason. I like both dogs and cats, and had many of both growing up, however, my experiences with possums have taught me to see the situation differently.

Ginger 2004

You can't depend on a possum to always be there. Visiting times might vary greatly, and they don't like to be picked up and cuddled. You might want one to stay who 'has' to move away, according to possum law. They might not live very long, even if they stick around.

But.. not knowing exactly what they are going to do means that life is full of surprises. The routine isn't set in stone.

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 Pollock.















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