Frequently Asked Questions about Possums......

Possums are arboreal, nocturnal mammals, and do not usually come down to the ground to sleep.  Gliders and Ringtails in particular remain in their own colonies for sleeping, brushtails are not so social and live by them selves or with mum until they are old enough to be on their own.  Gliders or ringtails on the ground are a definite worry, and should be taken into care.  Brushtails that look unwell or disorientated should also be taken into care.  Brushtails can suffer from a disease called Exudative Dermatitus, which looks like mucky eyes, and burnt skin.  They often have a strong aroma about them when they are unwell.  If in doubt, ask for help.   Any brushtail or ringtail joey smaller than a woman's closed fist found on its own needs to be looked at. 

There is a possum down on the ground, just lying there, or huddled in a ball.

Possums do not usually come to the ground, especially ringtail possums who are very arboreal. 

If you can, carefully, using a sheet or towel, place the animal in a box or container they cannot escape from and take it to your local vet - they usually have lists of wildlife carers in your area.

 

If you are unsure about handling the animal yourself, then call a wildlife carer, the RSPCA or the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital.

RSPCA Phone 3426 9910

Brisbane City Council Wildlife Ambulance ( 10 pm to 8 am) Ph. 3403 8888

​Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital 1300 369652

I have a possum sitting on my airconditioning unit (verandah, garage shed, chair etc).  He wasn't there yesterday.

Sometimes animals get 'caught out' when the sun comes up, and will park themselves in an odd spot for the day.  Usually they will move off after dark.

If you cannot see any injuries to the animal, leave it well alone.  Watch to see that it does move off after dark.  It may have decided that this new place is a good place for a temporary home, and may return that night. 

If you can see that the animal is injured, bleeding or in pain, that is a different situation.  Call a wildlife carer or the RSPCA ( they have a Wildlife Hospital and Ambulance to help with these kinds of situations). 

RSPCA Phone 3426 9910

Brisbane City Council Wildlife Ambulance ( 10 pm to 8 am) Ph. 3403 8888

 

 

I have a possum living in my roof ... what can I do?

Raising a possum is absolutely delightful, but having one living in your roof is not so nice. 

It is expensive to have a possum removed from your roof, so before you absolutely need to go down that road, try some simple things first. 

  1. Ensure the creature in your roof is actually a possum.  Most likely candidates are brushtail possums. 
  2. Obtain or make a possum box.  Find a tree in which you will be able to place the box once the possum is in it.  Have a trial run of putting the box in the tree - easier to do without the possum in it. 
  3. Find where your unwanted resident is accessing your roof. 
  4. Place a possum box outside the hole, as near as possible to the opening and supply some food to encourage the possum to access the box.  This may take a few days.
  5. Once the possum has decided that the box is a better option, as it comes with food, check carefully that the animal is sleeping in the box.  Cover the exit with timber and tape to prevent the animal leaving while you are moving the box. 
  6. Relocate the box with possum in it to the allocated tree.  Let the possum settle before removing the cover on the opening.
  7. Block the access hole to your roof thoroughly - a determined animal will get through a botch job.   
PLEASE NOTE: it is illegal to move a native animal more than 25 metres from where it was captured. 

Mathilda - brushtail possum - T. Goulter

Morgana and Beaudy Leone - brushtail possums - L. Christensen

Bear - Ringtail possum - J. & R. Le-Bherz