Fudge the Ring-Tailed Possum
A teenage boy noticed Fudge out during the day playing in a small tree.
He rang me for advice and I said it was definitely not normal for a possum to be out during the day, and that I needed to have a look at him.
He was a very sick possum.
He weighed 161 grams but was very skinny.
We presume he had been orphaned and he was very underweight.
He had fur missing around his mouth and around his nose and mouth was what looked like cradle cap.
His front paws were all sticky and the pads of his feet were white not pink.
I rang another carer for advice and she had just been speaking to a friend who also had a ringtail in care with the same symptoms.
She had done a scraping and put it under the microscope to discover her possum was infested with mites.
With this information I got out my magnifying glasses and discovered mine had little red mites all over him.
I immediately treated him for mites, with a follow up dose a month later to kill any eggs that had hatched.
Fudge had to be force-fed a low lactose formula because he refused all food offered to him.
As he put on weight his appetite increased and finding native blossoms and fresh gum tips for him became a daily chore.
His favorite treat was a few rose petals.
Because of lack of rain and very little growth of new tips on the gum trees his release had to be delayed.
Late in summer we attached his box to a big old gum tree on a friends property a few houses away from where he was originally found.
My friends have seen him since along with the other ringtails in the area. — Lesley Kurek