Thursday, 20 April 2017

Update 20th Apr 2017

I'll start with a picture of Raffi.

Raffi - 14th Apr 2017

Raffi is a cute little possum and normally a young brushtail like him would have featured more prominently on this blog. Unfortunately he's been overshadowed by the recent ringtail drama.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Update 8th Apr 2017

About two weeks ago, there was a visitation by a 2 m carpet python. At that time, the possums, who had previously been visiting regularly (often as many as five possums would appear together at 6:40 pm) went into hiding. I had been waiting for them to reappear before posting again - or at least that's my excuse for not posting in a while.

I am pleased to report that, since Niva reappeared yesterday, all of the regular possums (except for Mischa, who was expected to leave the area sometime soon and has grown into a big strong possum, so is unlikely to have been eaten)  have now been accounted for. It makes sense that Niva, who is the smallest of the possums, and an easy meal for a python, would remain in hiding the longest.

I would also like to mention, in case anyone's wondering, that cyclone Debbie [I'm disappointed they missed the opportunity to name it Donald] didn't affect Possum TV. There were no strong winds here and only about a day and a half of continuous, but not particularly heavy, rain. We are too high up for flooding, so the main effect was that the possums had an unpleasant couple of nights out in the wet.

Here is Niva on the night of her return in a typical acrobatic pose. She can twist around nearly 180° in this position.

Niva - 7th April 2017

When Niva reappeared, Wasabi was watching over her. It has been interesting to see how Koji (her older brother) and Wasabi (her father) have been taking turns taking care of her.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Update 18th Mar 2017

First of all some bad news.

Ruby was found dead on the balcony one evening recently. She had been in perfect health prior to this and had no visible wounds. My theory is that she was attacked by a (comparatively) small python, who was probably after one of her babies, and ended up strangled, but the python had been unable to swallow her. Apparently pythons sometimes do this.

I know this isn't a common thing, but her fur looked heavily compressed in a ring around her upper chest, and there were other less heavy indentations lower down which were consistent with a snake wrapping itself around her three times. These indentations were the only unusual thing about her body and it's difficult to account for them otherwise.

Here is one of the very last photos of Ruby.

Ruby with Niva back-riding - 23rd Feb 2017

The good news is that her babies, Nebo and Niva, survived this incident. Their older brother Koji, and father Wasabi, immediately took over the role of caring for them. This was a very interesting thing to witness.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Toto is Back!

Last night Toto appeared on the balcony handrail. This is the first time she has been seen in about six months.

Toto - 11th Feb 2017

She looks calm and is in very good condition, which is very encouraging.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Update 9th Feb 2017

Ruby's babies have been named Nebo and Niva. Their genders are unknown, and at this stage (like with Koji and Keeta), they can be told apart by the length of the white tip on their tails. Nebo has the longer white tip.

Niva and Nebo back-riding on Ruby with Koji at top right - 30th Jan 2017

Ruby and her babies are often seen with Koji. Keeta (Koji's twin) hasn't been seen for a while.

Monday, 23 January 2017

Update 23rd Jan 2017 - A New Baby Ringtail

Last night, Ruby arrived with her latest babies; one on the back and the other in the pouch.

Ruby with one baby on back and another in the pouch - 22nd Jan 2017

This is the first time either of these babies have been seen. Ruby couldn't come onto the handrail to show them off like last time because Sasha was there at the same time with her own baby.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Update 12th Jan 2017

Sasha brought her latest baby to the house for the first time tonight.

Sasha with baby back-riding - 12th Jan 2017

I suspect that Sasha's baby has been back-riding for a couple of weeks now. When Sasha has been using Box 7 recently, she usually exits the box with the baby hanging on underneath her tail. This is a logical, if undignified, alternative to trying to cling onto her back, and then getting knocked off when she squeezes through the entrance hole.

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Update 25th Dec 2016

The brushtails are all present and healthy. The ringtails have been visiting less often, with only Ruby, Koji and Wasabi having been seen in the past few days.

Mischa - 13th Dec 2016 [Photo by Xesce]

Mischa is doing well and seems to be evading attacks by the larger possums. His eye wound is now only barely visible.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Baby Possum Alert

Today, Sasha slept in Box 7 for the first time in over a month, and her latest baby briefly came out of the pouch.

Sasha with new baby in Box 7 - 15th Dec 2016

This is the first time the baby has been seen out of the pouch.

Sasha often seems to prefer Box 7 when she has babies (hopefully because it's a safer place for them to play), so with luck we'll see a lot more of the little one in coming weeks.

Currently the baby is barely furred and only occasionally emerging from the pouch for short periods - nowhere near the "being a real pest and jumping all over mother while she's trying to sleep" stage - but they grow up quickly, so stay tuned.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Update 29th Nov 2016

With the exception of Toto, who I'm thinking has probably left the area, all of the possums are still around. Ruby's babies Keeta and Koji visit frequently. I don't think I have mentioned what genders these two were - it can be hard to tell when they're just a little ball of fur - but now it's clear that Keeta is female and Koji is male.

Keeta is much more assertive than her older sister Maple when approaching the humans for food.

Keeta - 15th Nov 2016 [Photo by Xesce]