Here's some snaps I took of a gorgeous brush tail possum mother and another cute, smaller individual while on holiday at Broulee, NSW, Australia. While the brushie - as they are affectionately known - is commonplace Australiawide including in the city, it's only here that I've taken the opportunity to snap some shots of them. They are Australia's equivalent to an opossum or small monkey in terms of size, habitat, adaptability to developed environments, being nocturnal and diet.
A little curious.
Very curious. A particularly large and bold individual not unlike a tom cat in both respects.
Ready for her close up, she is the picture of health.
That moist pink nosicle is too much! ;)
Brushies are very cuddly looking. Note to overseas readers: Do not cuddle a brushie! They've got claws as sharp as a cat and they never retract.
We only noticed she was a mum after seeing her bulging pouch. After getting aquainted with us we gave her a bit of space to do her thing.
Mama Possum sat and her pouch slowly dilated.
She allowed the joey to emerge, gave it a solid grooming before popping back it in and going on her way.
Mama Possum and bub. Taken about a week later when she returned and the joey was on her back for a while.
Young 'Snaggletooth' out and about. This one is much smaller than Mama Possum. He was first discovered by J, sleeping on a blanket in the downstairs bedroom cupboard on our arrival. His presence has since been confirmed by myself, as temporary resident of said cupboard. It was part of my daily ritual to quietly slide open the cupboard door to check on him. He must have an alternative sleeping spot because he wasn't there everytime I checked on him. It's just as well because we had to block his entry into the cupboard!
He's a very gentle, shy, sweet possum. I know this from having fed him some fruit scraps. He was very careful not to scratch me with his claws, daintily taking the food in his mouth and gently holding onto my finger for balance. Mama Possum did scratch me slightly and grabbed onto my fingers very firmly even though with both possums I didn't offer my fingers to be held! He is at the bottom of the pecking order as far as other local possums go. Mama Possum hissed him off, while the another chased him off. He's had a hard life, and that little bit of missing lip revealing his teeth was probably the result of a close encounter with another possum's sharp claws.