My wildlife journey on the Sunshine Coast began in June 2013, when I joined Wildlife Volunteers Assoc Inc (WILVOS) along with my husband and two children. My driving force was my undeniable passion for marsupials, which in my opinion far outweighs my husbands obsession with snakes & reptiles… However our partnership continually shows in our mutual respect for each other’s devotion, to the animals in our care – be it fury or scaly.
In October last year we admitted our first patient into our home. Penny a 2.4kg female Common Brushtail possum and I was filled with trepidation. I had an aviary to erect, climbing branches to install, appropriate foliage to select on a daily basis and the list steadily grew.
My biggest concern, was the method in which I was to apply the ointment to her laceration on her right arm and creatively hiding her crushed anti-biotics in a plush block of mango for her. A key factor being that possums eat native foliage and shouldn’t be fed from our sumptuous menu of summery fruits. As my confidence grew and knowledge broadened, we both slipped into a comfortable friendship and I could feel her trust in me strengthen.
At our 6 week check up at Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital, the nurses in triage kindly invited us in and conveyed the positive results. Penny was healing well and would require a further 2 weeks in care, before her release back into the wild near north Brisbane. To our elation the nurses revealed a pastel pink joey in her pouch, with beady brown eyes closed and covered by a thin membrane, this was an utterly earth shattering occasion. To witness the pure joy of a new life, is truly memorable.
I had it bad! I was deeply in love with caring for possums – brushtails, ringtails it didn’t matter. I felt that in my own small way I could make a difference to these animals and their future prosperity.
In the coming months, I welcomed over 13 possums into my care at one time and my brood has continued to grow since then.
I commend all those caring and compassionate individuals who take the time to make the call, or stop to check an injured animal on the roads, or check the pouches of dead mothers for surviving joeys. Thank you for making a difference to our spectacular wildlife population.
Misty Bland – Wildlife Volunteers Assoc Inc WILVOS
Tel: 5441 6200