Friday, October 10, 2008

Possum Families - Country Cousins

We have a resident brush tail possum we have named Mum who lives in her special possum box quite near the house. She usually produces 2 babies a year at 6 monthly intervals. When they are old enough she introduces them to us splayed out on her back until she can no longer stand their weight. Interesting watching her teach them what to eat....

Mum in the kitchen

Now she and her babies are what you would call 'cute' big brown eyes, healthy brown fur, luxurious tails and tall pointed ears.

There is another family that lives nearby (not sure where) who occasionally come over for a feed of seed and perhaps an apple or a pear, and we call this other family the 'rat face family'.

Nervous and baby

Not as cute as Mum, fur is more greyish, they have a shorter pointed nose and smaller greyish eyes. The head of this family we call Nervous, although she has settled down now she is a grandmother....she has introduced her daughter and now that daughter has introduced her kid.

Mum is very tame and will tap on the glass door if we haven't seen her out on the deck. She comes in side looking for a piece of fruit, maybe she can smell the fruit bowl. I am always somewhat relieved when she goes out again.....a possum loose in the house would be unadvisable.
The main male we have called King Kong. He is very large, muscular with scars on his nose and a wonky eye due no doubt to the battles they get themselves into. When they sit on their back legs they look like a fat wallaby.

You must be careful feeding them, more or less just shove the food straight into their mouth to avoid them trying to grasp it and whilst holding your fingers with their huge claws they then try to draw food and fingers into their mouth resulting in a nasty bite.

Funnily, we never feed them without our shoes on. Experience has taught night he went out barefooted and one of the possums latched onto his big toe...thought it looked like a tasty little sausage perhaps.

Young possum up a pole

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Where are we?

Callignee is situated in the foothills of the Strezlecki 's in Gippsland, Victoria.