The photo of a rescued brushtail possum in Australia is going viral because of its resemblance to Pokemon’s Pikachu.
However, it is not likely that it will be released in the wild because its golden color makes it vulnerable to predators.
In mid-November, the Boronia Veterinary Clinic and Animal Hospital in Melbourne, Australia posted about a rescued possum that was brought into the clinic by a concerned member of the public. Evidently, the creature was found lying on the ground, possibly after it had fallen off of its mother’s back.
Apart from the touching story of how the creature was rescued from possible danger, what caught the attention of many, however, was how the creature looked rather like the character Pikachu from the animated series Pokemon. True enough, the creature’s golden color, large ears, and facial features resemble the popular character.
The creature was actually a common brushtail possum, but a mutation caused it to have low levels of melanin, thereby giving it its golden color. Because of this, the creature was taken to a wildlife carer and will eventually be taken to a wildlife sanctuary because its coloration, while very unique and special to human eyes, also makes it vulnerable to predators in the wild.
In fact, golden possums are quite rare in the wild because they tend to be targeted by predators early on in their lives.
Common Brushtail Possum
The common brushtail possum is actually the most widely distributed species of large possum. They typically inhabit woodlands and open forests and primarily eat eucalypt leaf and other leaf species as a main source of sustenance. They are not social animals that only tend to come together for breeding.
Some of the threats to common brushtail possums include habitat loss, competition with other possums or other animals for food and habitats, and predation by foxes, cats, dogs, and dingoes.