Saturday 30 June 2018

Update 30th June 2018

There appears to be only one of the two young ringtails - Akira - visiting now. Akira sometimes visits with his father Koji or his mother Zoë, or occasionally both together.

Akira - 23rd May 2018 [Photo by Xesce]

Akira - 23rd May 2018 [Photo by Xesce]

It is possible the other young ringtail - Nikita - is still around; one night a female ringtail was seen in trees at the same time as Zoë was visiting. As there are no other known female ringtails in the area, it's not impossible that this was Nikita, and I was wrong about her being a boy possum.

Zoë (left) and Akira (right) - 15th May 2018 [Photo by Xesce]

Zoë (left) and Akira (right) - 17th May 2018

Zoë (top), Akira (centre) and Koji (bottom) - 17th May 2018

Zoë (left) and Akira (right) - 26th May 2018 [Photo by Xesce]

It seems that it is not only young brushtails who tear food from their parent's mouths; ringtails do it too. Here is Akira surfacing like a shark under Koji in order to take food from his mouth - and getting pushed in the face for his troubles.

Koji (left) and Akira (right) - 10th June 2018

Koji is visiting regularly and is in good health.

Koji - 22nd June 2018

Zoë has had some thinning fur on her rump, but this appears to be growing back. This is a common thing with ringtails and we don't know what causes it. We sometimes try to treat it with topical Ivermectin, which is a fairly benign treatment against skin parasites, but it's questionable whether this does any good.

Zoë appears to have two fairly active babies in her pouch. I'm not sure if she will keep clear of the house when they start back-riding. In the past she did this, but she has been getting more accustomed to humans as time goes on.

Zoë - 6th June 2018 [Photo by Xesce]

Tarzan is still around and has grown big enough that I occasionally mistake him for Sasha. He now visits less frequently and may be going on exploring missions looking for a territory of his own. He is probably about a month away from being chased out of the area.

Tarzan - 18th May 2018

Tarzan - 10th June 2018

Tarzan - 11th June 2018 [Photo by Xesce]

Tarzan - 11th June 2018 [Photo by Xesce]

Tarzan - 11th June 2018 [Photo by Xesce]

At one stage one of his exploring missions included the house. He initially came inside to bite toes, but when a video camera was produced, he decided that he didn't want to be famous on YouTube as a toe-biting fiend and instead ran off to explore the house.

He went up and down stairs, scampered over a recently painted surface that was fortunately just dry enough not to record his footprints, ran under a bed and even leaped onto the toilet seat (fortunately without falling in). He eventually ran out of the door without causing any damage.

Sasha is going well. Although not visible in the photos below, her pouch is now getting plump. One day recently a leg briefly emerged from her pouch when she was in Box 7. It's not quite time for a Baby Possum Alert yet, but in a week or so we should see the baby coming out briefly during the hotter parts of the day.

Sasha - 24th May 2018 [Photo by Xesce]

Sasha - 24th May 2018 [Photo by Xesce]

 Marlowe hasn't visited for a considerable while, but may have been sleeping the possum boxes. There was a large amount of possum fur found in the back yard. This fur was partly rufous and probably from a male possum, so it's possible Marlowe was fighting with an intruder.

Finally, some unpleasant news:

A young bandicoot was found in the front yard. It had a horrible fly-blown wound on its back, apparently from an attack by a dog (the vet found two puncture wounds on each side consistent with a dog attack). It was in such a bad way that I was able to pick it up without resistance. We got it to a vet, but euthanasia was the only option. I think that vets are often too quick to euthanize wildlife, but in this case I agree with their decision.

What is strange is that I've never seen any bandicoots in the area before. It's unlikely, but not completely inconceivable, that there could be some in the back yard - despite the efforts of the brush turkeys there are places where there are enough leaves and branches at ground level for them to nest in - but if so it's surprising I've never noticed any until now.

While this incident was a minor tragedy, I suppose it's good to know that there are bandicoots living somewhere nearby. 

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