Animal Diaries Archive
Possums in the Roof!
27 June 2008What is the cause of more sleepless nights for Australians than anything else? Now if you said crying babies, barking dogs or loud music from the neighbor next door, then you would be wrong. At least in my story. But if you said the possum, then you would be right.
Ahhh... I hear you say. You'd forgotten about the possum hadn't you – that is until next time you hear him or her scurrying across the roof for the fifteenth hundred time. Did you know Possum catchers are listed under professional services in the telephone directory? There are even training courses on how to safely catch possums. My, my, my, what a lot of fuss for what is essentially a very fragile animal of some two or three kilograms – less than half the size of an average household cat.
Now, having established the animal we are talking about, and in a way which unfortunately highlights one of the less favorable thing that they seem to be most famous for, let me tell you how absolutely adorable these little guys are.
We are most fortunate to have two very special girls at Australia Zoo, who do an absolutely amazing job of enthralling and entertaining our guests. ‘Hope’ is a beautiful Mountain Brushtail Possum who goes out for a rove each day in the zoo. Our other possum is ‘Pip’, a common brush tail possum. But let me tell you there is absolutely nothing common about Pip.
Pip is a stunning and big-boned. She is from Tasmania and has an amazing thick russet brown coat and weighs in at 5kg. Before you start passing comment on her weight, I would like to point out that the further south you go, the larger and darker these little (or big) guys get. In fact, this is true of many mammals, reptiles and birds.
Pip was hand raised and loves nothing more than to be cuddled in her blanket. And here comes the really great part – guests are able to meet and cuddle Pip for themselves! Each day Australia Zoo offers guests the opportunity to book in and have a exclusive encounter with Pip. Unfortunately there are limit numbers each day – it’s not easy getting lunch fed to you while you snuggle in a blanket you know. But you can pre-book a spot for the Possum Experience, as well as any of our other great experiences, including Dingoes, Wombats, Echidnas and Tortoises by contacting Australia Zoo by telephone (54 36 2000). There is a small fee for each experience, but all money goes back to maintaining and supporting the wild relatives of so many of our beautiful animals.
Oh by the way, if you want to get your local possums out of the roof – secure a possum box up nice and high in one of your trees. The possums much prefer their own pad to sharing one with you anyway and you can have the enjoyment of watching them come and go, without having your sleep disturbed. It's a win win situation.