Meet the tiny Striped Possum stealing the hearts of the team at the Tropical Animal Rehabilitation Centre and get ready to cue your heart eyes.
Tropical North Queensland is home to some pretty adorable wildlife but this orphaned baby Striped Possum wins the award for the cutest critter in the tropics. The im-possum-bly adorable mini marsupial was brought into the Tropical Animal Rehabilitation Centre at Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas after being found orphaned. She is estimated to be around 15-170 days old and weighs only 76 grams.
The little girl, who is unnamed, is still so tiny that she should be travelling on her mother’s back. With mum no where in site, the TARC team will step into mum’s shoes (or paws) to hand raise her.
Like all wildlife that comes into TARC, the Striped Possum will be assessed by specialised wildlife staff or a veterinarian. Once she is given a clean bill of health, she will be passed onto a carer who will take her under their wing until she is big enough to re-enter the wild. She will need to weigh 220grams to be released, which is around three times the weight she is now.
This cutie will remain unnamed, as naming the animal creates a greater attachment between the carer and the animal and it is important that this little Striped Possum is not imprinted so that she can successfully return to the wild.
Striped Possums are endemic to Tropical North Queensland and Papua New Guinea and, although common, can be hard to spot. These nocturnal marsupials sleep within tree hollows and are active at night. Funnily enough, this marsupial’s call sounds similar to a croaking frog and it can be heard pulling apart trees using their lower incisors- which can be up to 15mm long! The Striped Possum also has an elongated fourth finger to locate termites and other insects within the wood and can spend as long as 9 hours foraging.
If you want to catch a glimpse of an adorable Striped Possum, the team at Wildlife Habitat suggest keeping your eyes peeled on the large Melaleuca trees along Mudlo and Titree St and Barrier st. Alternatively, head to Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas to see them in action in the nocturnal exhibit.