Thursday 30 August 2012

Possum status update 30th August 2012

Kiki's new baby is out of the pouch. This is the first photo of the little one back-riding. The crumpled looking ears are normal for a baby which is spending a lot of time in the pouch.

First Picture of Kiki's 7th Baby 9/8/2012

Little possums grow up quickly. The baby is still back-riding and occasionally suckling but is enthusiastically taking solid food and is occasionally left on its own. Here's a photo of the baby after having torn a piece of pear out of Kiki's mouth.

Kiki and 7th Baby 25/8/2012 [Photo by Xesce]

Pinot has now been been mating with Kiki. Different possums have very different personalities and it seems that in addition to his cheekiness, Pinot is a bit of an exhibitionist. In over 6 years of observation, the only times we've witnessed possums mating have been the two occasions this year involving Pinot.

Kiki and Pinot mating 23/8/2012 [Photo by Xesce]

Kiki and Pinot mating 23/8/2012 [Photo by Xesce]

Marlon's missing claw is now completely healed, but has yet to grow back to its full length.

Marlon's Claw Growing Back 29/8/2012

The weather has started to warm up and there have been more pythons around. On 23/8/2012, while possums were sleeping in boxes 1, 2 and 3, a python decided to check out box 4 with its tongue flicking, looking for food. This python wasn't Grendel; it had different markings and looked a little smaller. While I'm not sure this python was large enough to eat any of the large male brushtails sleeping in the other boxes, I'm sure that none of them would have been too happy to see it.

A few days later, Flea was seen in a little gum tree near the house, staring intently in the direction of box 4 and puffing loudly. The puffing sounded just like the sound Kiki had made the first time Grendel approached - very loud and ending with a lot of harsh clicks - so it's possible Flea was performing her duty as part of the python warning network.

At around midday on 29/8/2012 I saw a python squeezing in under the eaves. This was a big one and may have been Grendel. A number of birds (a currawong, a noisy miner, a blue-faced honey-eater and a young grey butcher bird) had clustered around it and were raising a racket, with the currawong being brave enough to fly in for a few pecks.

It seems that pythons have few friends in the animal world.

We haven't seen Wasabi for a couple of weeks now, but it's normal for him make himself scarce when there are pythons around.

Flea's pouch now has a slight bulge in it, so there's almost certainly a baby in there. Flea has also picked up a circular wound in the centre of her back. Possibly this is a bite from another possum. The skin looks redder than we'd like and we're monitoring it to see how it progresses.

In other injury news, Pinot was seen with a large blob of mucous in his right eye one night. Often possums suffer minor infection/irritation of the eye (I suppose it's easy to get poked in the eye when jumping around in trees in the dark), but it usually clears up very quickly without treatment. In the current case, everything was alright by the following night.

Finally, here's a photo of Wesley. He visits regularly, but is still a nervous possum.

Wesley 6/8/2012

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