Monday, 10 September 2012

Call Me "The Possum Whisperer"

The other night I was late home from work. It was dark. I was tired. I walked down our driveway, saw something on the ground near the mailbox, thought it was a piece of garbage, and walked inside. Later I needed to fetch something from my car, and I saw that that 'piece of garbage' was actually a possum. Lying on the ground. I brought a torch out and my trusty sidekick, Matt, and found that it was not only a possum, but a dead possum. We proceeded to prepare to dispatch of the body, when Matt moved the body slightly - and we discovered a baby in the pouch. A live, nude, fur-less baby possum.

So we called WIRES. And then Matt took the dead mummy possum to the vet, with the live baby possum in the pouch.

It was pretty incredible to see that possum in that pouch. Definitely not something you see every day. While I do hear possums romping on our roof, I don't get to see the offspring tucked up so neatly in that wee little pouch. Nature is amazing.

I called the vet back the next day, but sadly the little possum was too small to survive without his mummy possum.

Fast-forward to tonight, and I left work late (see a pattern developing here?). I walked out to the work carpark - and I saw a little ball of fluff on one of the empty carparks. I moved closer to see what it was, a wee, wee, wee fluffy little baby ringtail possum with the biggest eyes on the planet. Like these...

Big, dark eyes, looking at me. I moved a little closer, and the little fellow shied away. I wondered if he'd been hit - but there was no blood, he looked ok. Just scared. And tiny. Oh so tiny. So I called my colleague (Ben) up in the office and asked him to bring me a box. Another colleague, Ali, pulled an old t-shirt from her car for me. We were up for some good old-fashioned ringtail possum catching.

Ben came down, box in hand, and I informed him that he had the great fortune of having to pick up that skittery little creature. He put the t-shirt out and that little critter ran right up his arm, then jumped off him, and ran under a car. Dang!

So we got the torch apps on - and shone it under the car. It ran into the wheel. Then we got it out. Then it ran into the other wheel. And we got it out. Then it ran into another wheel. Seriously - dude!

We were lying belly down on the ground trying to encourage this little fella out of his hiding place.

The car park was virtually empty when we had come down to the carpark - and a woman who I'd never seen walked down and got in to oher car. We continued looking for this possum. She messed around in her car, and we did our thing. And then I turned to see her driving towards us - and thought: "Wow, this woman has come up close to us so she's shining the car lights under the car so we can see."

But nope. She had decided, for some unknown reason, to leave the exit by driving through the empty car spots next to the parked car where the possum was. And where - coincidentally, my handbag had been sitting - safely, so I thought, since there were no other cars around. Then she stopped her car, right on top of my handbag.

I turned around, shrieked, pulled my bag out and stood there in shock. How did that happen? Why was she driving so close to us when she knew we were a) looking for a small animal and b) lying on the ground trying to find out.

I said: "Oh my goodness, you just ran over my handbag!"
She replied: "Oh I knew there was something there, but didn't know what it was, so I ran over it."

Then hesitated and drove off.


Ben got the possum out of the wheel and into the box. I looked at my handbag. Squashed, broken, an Oroton compact mirror Matt gave me once - and that I only just started using - smashed. What the funk just happened?! We're probably lucky she didn't run over our legs when we were on the ground.

I drove that wee little, scared little ringtail possum up to the small animals hospital. They checked him over and gave him the clean bill of health and told me he'd go tonight to a carer to be looked after until he's big enough.

Lesson for tonight:

- When rescuing native animals - and even if the carpark is virtually empty - don't leave your handbag even if you think it's safe
- Don't drive over things that you don't know what they are
- Get out of your mother flipping car and apologise if you do something shonky

If you find an injured native animal, please call:
WIRES - 1300 094 737


Katy said...

Lucky possum.....dreadful handbag crushing woman!

A Daft Scots Lass said...

Running over yer handbag? WTF?

Mon Alisa Design said...

I have a brush tail possum living in my studio. You're more than welcome to come and whisper it away. I promise no injury will come to your belongings.

And to run over something not knowing what it is? Especially after noticing that it was there...Wrong town.

Blackbird Corner said...

Goodness! Lucky she didn't run over the possum with that attitude!!!

Michele said...

"I didnt know what it was so I ran over it? " - What the??

Lets hope she doesnt apply that rule too often.

What a nutbag

That said - glad it was your handbag and not the baby possum : (

Hazel said...

I still can't believe she did that to you!
Cutest little possum though!

Twinsane Mum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Twinsane Mum said...

That nutbag owes you a new mirror!

city said...

thanks for sharing.