WIRES - Fatso & Fuzzy's Brushtail Possum Rescue
Posted by David Burns | comments 1 Comments | agree_icon Agree (5) | disagree_icon Disgree (0)
WIRES - Fatso & Fuzzy's Brushtail Possum Rescue

Meet little brother and sister brushtail possums, Fatso & Fuzzy. These two little guys came into WIRES foster care as miniture joeys after their mum was killed by a car on Sydney's North Shore, Dec 2009. READ their amazing story and learn how YOU can help SAVE Australian Wildlife.

There is nothing like seeing baby wildlife or witnessing magnificant specticals of nature to initiate conversation and attract crowds. Australia is blessed with beautiful wildlife and amazing biodiversity. As a WIRES member, I have been given a fantastic opportunity to become exposed to the secretive personalities of my local wildlife.

WIRES members make an enormous contribution to reduce societies impact on wildlife and aid the preservation of vulnerable species by improving habitat. According to WIRES, native wildlife like Fatso & Fuzzy pose no threat to home owners and only require dogs and cats to be kept inside at night, and have access to native landscapes to keep possums out of roof spaces as well as planting native flora in the backyard and repairing broken roofs.

Fatso & Fuzzy were rescued from their mothers pouch and taken to a vet who handed them over to long-term WIRES carer Marilynne Dearn. Marilynne's acute care raised these two little 100gram siblings over 6 months to a healthy 'ready for release' weight of 1.3kg. Like many wildlife victims under WIRES care, native animals are handed between members to administer various levels of care and animal accommodation, including re-establishing their wild instinct via association with other possums. My WIRES role was to provide a suitable home for Fatso & Fuzzy as they had not had a natural opportunity to be introduced into an inherited territory by their mother. Prior to release, Fatso & Fuzzy were acclimatised to their pending release environment in my native garden from within the safety of their cage and sleeping pot over several nights to assimilate with outside sounds, smells, and sights. During this time, I got to observe their interaction with other resident wildlife and also their sibling behaviours, including Fatso's attempt to maintain his temporary adolescent authority. Fatso being the big brother, assumed the role as chief food taster when strawberry, banana, and sweet potato were provided as pre-dusk treats, and only passing over half eaten bits to Fuzzy when he moved onto fresh new pieces. Their regular night time diet of gum leaves and native flowers attracted zero argument.

Fatso & Fuzzy were successfully released and have become regular visitors in our garden, often seen chasing each other in their search for food and new mates. It is a great experience to be part of WIRES and take responsibility for injured wildlife, providing care, and seeing healthy animals released back into the bush. If you love native animals, and would like to  become a WIRES foster carer which can fit easily into a busy schedule, then an extremely satisfying experience awaits. WIRES stands for Wildlife Information and Rescue Emergency Service and has local branches in most NSW cities and regions. To become a WIRES member, goto the WIRES website www.wires.org.au. Austrlian wildlife is unique, and WIRES made it possible for Fatso & Fuzzy to get another chance!


David Burns is a Sustainability Advisor and Analyst, www.sustain450.com.au

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Lyn Millett - WIRES possum coordinator Northern Beaches
Sat 04 Sep 2010 agree_icon Agree (0) disagree_icon Disgree (0)

<p>Just got round to reading your story - good one - will you be able to release another couple of brushtails this year or perhaps several ringtails?</p>

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