Sunday, May 1, 2016
Our beautiful Phoebe, a Western Ring Tail Possum who was orphaned when she fell of her Mummies back as she was branch hopping between the trees, is now ready to be a big girl in the wild. Joslyn hand reared Phoebe for several months until she had gained enough weight to be released. Phoebe has been out the the past several nights, racing across the deck, trying to climb windows and waking us up. We think she has ventured further a field now as we don't hear her, but every morning we find her fast asleep in her pouch. She is not eating the food we leave out for her, so she must be getting enough to eat during the night. Western Ring Tail Possums love Peppermint Tree leaves and we have plenty of those in our backyard.
There is little knowledge of the social behaviour of Western Ringtail Possums. They are said to be very solitary and mostly live on their own, but our Phoebe loves it when we spend time with her while she is in her pouch. We don't handle her anymore as she needs to learn to be a wild child, but she knows where she can be safe and warm.
The Western Ringtail Possum is listed as a threatened species. Their legal status under the EPBC Act (Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999) is "Vulnerable" and under the West Australian Wildlife Conservation Act (1950) they are listed as 'rare or likely to become extinct'. We are so blessed to have Phoebe here, she can join Polly who is our resident wild possum.
Phoebe came to us from licensed wildlife carers Pauline and Kevin at Dreamers Dream Wildlife Rehabilitation in Mount Barker. This is now our Sammie Jo's new home. We are guided by their expertise and knowledge during Phoebes release stage.