Thursday, 19 June 2008

Hospital for...possums? no. 3

Possy the sugar glider
Possy Possum at 52 grams
From koalawrangler's gallery.

Possy Possum, the sugarglider

Strictly speaking, Possy wasn't really in the hospital's care, but rather in Cheyne's, the hospital supervisor. Cheyne fed Possy around the clock at home and brought him into the koala hospital every day on her motorbike, tucked safely into her leather jacket. Possy spent the day in the humidicrib which is usually reserved for pinkies (unfurred koalas). Possy was snug as a bug in a rug, enveloped in a nest of knitted pouches, all the colours of the rainbow.

Cheyne fed Possy with a marsupial supplement every few hours - much the same routine as with a young koala joey. The syringe was almost too big for little Possy who would eagerly gulp at the drops of formula.

Ten weeks' later, and Possy Possum is showing all the signs of developing into a healthy young sugar glider.

He weighed in at the grand amount of 52 grams, and he is developing the telltale webbing through his arms that will allow him to glide from branch to branch.

Possy the sugar glider

Possum Cam!

Click here to see more photos of possum patients recovering at the Koala Hospital, Port Macquarie.

Noah's a goer

When last we left little Noah, he was extending his stay in Port Macquarie by a few more weeks. His weight was a bit lower than we'd have liked, and we wanted to be sure young Noah would have everything in his favour before we released him back into the world.

By the beginning of May, Noah was ready for his big trip back to his home range down near Port Stephens, over two and half hours away from the Koala Hospital.

Apparently, Noah enjoyed his road trip home. He munched on nicholii and red iron bark leaf all the way, and never once whined, "are we there yet?"

On arrival, Noah took off up his chosen tree, a Eucalyptus robusta, or good ol' swamp mahogany, as we koalawranglers call it, a koala favourite. Having spent over six months in the same tree (in our joey yard), Noah naturally took a moment or two to orient himself before scooting to the top of the tree and digging in to the fresh leaf.

I'm told that it was dusk by the time his carers from the Native Animal Trust Fund left Noah happily chewing away. Although it's a bit cooler down there than in Port Macquarie, they resisted giving him a blankie...he's got plenty of koala fur to keep him warm :)

Click here to see more photos of One Mile Beach Noah.