Friday 6 April 2018

Update 6th Apr 2018

Since the last entry, Marlowe, Zoë, Akira and Nikita have showed up and for a while there were a lot of possums visiting. Now, however, a carpet python has appeared and the possums are making themselves scarce again. Here is a photo of Akira soon after he reappeared:

Akira - 11th March 2018

Akira (above?) and Nikita (below?) - 14th March 2018

Akira - 14th March 2018

Nikita - 30th March 2018

Here is the python. It's probably close to 2m long and could certainly eat a ringtail. It doesn't appear to be the same one who visited this time last year.

Carpet Python lurking in Box 4 - 29th March 2018

Since the python arrived, the ringtails have changed their habits. Previously, the youngsters Akira and Nikita were usually seen together, Koji was visiting the house and Zoë was seen occasionally but almost never visited. Now, however, Koji and Akira are nowhere to be seen, whereas Nikita and Zoë are sticking close together and are visiting the house regularly.

The python had a bulge in it when it was first seen (which was on the 27th of March), and there is the question of whether it might have eaten Akira at this time. I am thinking Akira was by that time too large to account for the relatively modest bulge in the python (and Koji certainly was), so it's possible that Koji has taken Akira to some safe place far away from the python. Koji's mother Ruby was probably killed by a python a year ago, and his father Wasabi narrowly escaped being eaten when young, so he might have a particular fear of pythons.

Around the time the python appeared, Zoë arrived at the house looking sad and had patches of thinning fur on her back (visible in the photo below). It could be she had just lost Akira, but equally well it could be that she was scared of the python or that she was wanting treatment for the missing fur.

Zoë - 26th March 2018

Zoë was given some Ivermectin anti-mite treatment. I'm not sure whether the cause of fur loss in ringtails (which is quite common here) is mites, but Ivermectin never seems to harm them and is worth a try.

Nikita (left) and Zoë (right) - 30th March 2018

Sasha and Tarzan have virtually stopped visiting since the python appeared. They are still around and sleep in the possum apartments in the garage most days. I think this would be safer than sleeping in a box when there's a python around. A possum can look out over the entire garage from one of these apartments and could see a python coming in enough time to escape.

Here is the latest photo of Tarzan. This makes him look a little younger than he appears in person and he seems to be growing into a big possum like Arrow.

Tarzan - 24th March 2018

And another photo of him trying to tear a piece of corn out of Sasha's mouth.

Tarzan (bottom left) "shares" a piece of corn with Sasha (top) - 24th March 2018

Arrow hasn't been seen for a while. He was due to leave the area at any time, so he might have taken the appearance of the python as an incentive to depart, but equally well could just be making himself scarce.

Arrow - 17th March 2018

Marlowe has visited a few times, but has also been lying low since the python arrived.

Marlowe - 20th March 2018

1 comment:

  1. We spotted the python in your box the other day. We've got a couple of well fed ones outside the house here as well, although luckily they seem to prefer snacking on antechinuses. You can hear them stalked their dinner up in our roof!