Striped pos­sum to be re­ha­bil­i­tated

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Jessie Tol­son

AN ADORABLE baby striped pos­sum rarely seen in the wild was found on the front deck of a prop­erty on David­son St yes­ter­day.

Barry Kennedy and Anna Gonsalves said some ten­ants found the lit­tle bun­dle of fur and brought it to their at­ten­tion and it was taken to the Port Dou­glas Wildlife Habi­tat for a check-up and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion.

The striped pos­sum is hard to mis­take, with its bold, skun­k­like ap­pear­ance of strik­ing black and white stripes along its body and white-tipped tail.

It lives only in the up­land and low­land forests of the Wet Trop­ics re­gion of North Queens­land and in low­land New Guinea.

Wildlife Habi­tat as­sis­tant man­ager Clare An­der­son said the striped pos­sum is a fairly com­mon lo­cal species found in a very small range, how­ever they are rarely seen un­less some­one is look­ing hard for them.

‘‘Th­ese very cute lit­tle crea­tures can be found in var­i­ous habi­tats from rain­for­est to open wood­land and melaleuca swamp,’’ Ms An­der­son said.

‘‘In Port Dou­glas keep your eyes out in the large melaleuca trees along Mudlo and Ti Tree St and Bar­rier st, but for the ad­ven­tur­ous they can be spot­lighted in the lo­cal rain­forests - just be sure to use light­ing that is sen­si­tive to their large eyes.

‘‘Un­for­tu­nately where th­ese an­i­mals are found in de­vel­oped ar­eas they fre­quently fall vic­tim to both cat at­tacks and cars and rarely sur­vive from ei­ther.

‘‘Un­for­tu­nately I have seen more fall vic­tim than I have seen alive in Port Dou­glas.

‘‘This lit­tle one is only a young an­i­mal - it should have been trav­el­ling on its mother’s back still and will re­quire a small amount of hand-rear­ing be­fore it will be re­leased back into the wild.

‘‘The Wildlife Habi­tat is home to some striped pos­sums that have been a part of our col­lec­tion for many years and can be seen as part of the night tour.’’

Pic­ture: JESSIE TOL­SON

ADORABLE:

the rare baby striped pos­sum

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