‘Check pouches’: Animal lover saves baby possum from road
AN Ipswich childcare worker helped a baby marsupial escape a slow and painful death after she found the youngster in the pouch of its dead mother.
Exiting the Warrego Hwy onto Holdsworth Rd, North Ipswich, on Monday night, Emma William noticed a possum on the road, which appeared to have recently been struck by a car.
“I knew there hadn’t been a possum there before, when I’d driven through that way,” Emma said.
“I had this feeling so I turned around and pulled over and check.”
As she walked toward the animal, about 9.30pm, she noticed movement.
“I peeled the pouch back and could see the baby and she was moving and trying to suckle,” she said.
“Mum was still warm.”
With the help of another motorist, Emma was able to remove the teat from the mother possum.
“(The baby) wouldn’t let go of the teat so we ended up having to cut that,” she said.
Pulling a baby animal from its mother’s teat can cause serious injury to the baby.
For Emma, who grew up rescuing animals with her father, taking care of critters is second nature.
“I’ve done it plenty of times before – I grew up in Cairns and my dad is a wildlife rescuer,” she said.
“It’s something we would do constantly. On road trips, if we saw animals, we would pull over to check.
“Sometimes we would find joeys and it would be too late but, other times, we would take them home and nurse them back to health or take them (to another rescue), if we were far from home.”
She called the pinky possum Plum.
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“My dad and I would always name rescues after fruits – apple, orange, mango – I thought I’d keep the tradition going,” she said.
Sadly, despite receiving vet care, Plum passed away.
“She made it through the night but there was some underlying trauma,” Emma said.
“The vet said there was nothing they could do – they was nothing they could have done.”
“She had a full belly of food and she was really warm – it’s better than the alternative.”
Read more news by Ebony Graveur.