Friday, 7 May 2010

Rare Golden Brushtail Possum a mum again

You don't see too many of these in the wild - and there's a reason...

Sydney Wildlife World’s rare Golden Brushtail possum has been rearing its latest joey, Stella.

The baby Golden Brushtail Possum has grown in the pouch over the last four months from the size of a jellybean.

Mum and dad Cascade and Boags (yes, after the beers...which must make Stella - Artois!) have already bred successfully once before. Foster, the first joey, left the pouch in November last year.

Found only in Tasmania the golden colour is the result of a genetic mutation. They are hypomelanistic; meaning they have little melanin in their skin, in fact the only place they have it is in their eyes which is why these animals have black eyes as opposed to true albino animals; who have pink eyes.

Did you know?

• The Tasmanian Brushtail has three main colour variations; silver grey, black and gold
• Their natural and preferred habitat is forest, where they nest in tree hollows
• They feed mainly on leaves of trees and shrubs and enjoy succulent herbs, grasses and garden plants; they occasionally scavenge meat
• The brushtail possum communicates by sound and scent; ferocious screeches and guttural growls are often used
• They have a hand-like back foot for grasping and a strong flexible tail for curling around branches
• Like many of our native animals, human and domestic animals threaten this species

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