Saturday, June 28, 2008

Once upon a time...

Once upon a time, back in April, a trio of possums were dropped off at the clinic. Two of the possums were the normal grey and white with black eyes and feet and ears. But one possum was white with black eyes and feet and ears. And she was perfect!!!

We noticed that the siblings were very protective of their sister, always guarding her by standing in front of her every time their crate door was opened. She really didn't need the protection as she was somewhat aggressive herself, but it was indeed a rare look into the lives of possums. This little orphaned family obviously knew how to care for each other.

Her condition is called leucistic (loo-kiss-tic) . She is not albino because she does have pigment in her ears, eyes, and feet. Not much more is different for her. She is a rarity and when she has babies, I wonder if any or how many will carry on her superb beauty.

I've never seen a white possum before though I know this isn't the first one. I've seen a mottled axis fawn with white stockings and face, and photos of an almost white cardinal, but this little girl was my fist white possum. And what a celebrity! I think all of the staff have taken photos of her as well as a few visitors. I know she can't wait to get back to the wild. No more photo ops for her!

She is almost ready for release. She was held back so that she could get a little size to her so that she would be able to readily defend herself in the wild if she were picked on.

There is the possibility that she will lack the camouflage that her peers have especially on moon lit nights, but, as I've never seen one come in injured, possibly it will work in her favor.


Stacie said...

She is adorable!! Almost looks like a mouse with those noticeable ears! Very interesting.

Heidi said...

I have a "leucistic" possum in my Des Moines, IA wooded back yard this winter! We are in love with it. It has been around our place since Christmas. Thanks for your posting. I was searching the internet to see what my rare treat really was. Now I know. I do have pictures and video.

Robin said...

I am so glad I was able to help you! We've gotten in a leucistic racoon and I found photos at work of a leucistic squirrel--you just never know!
Love your unique baby--they're few and far between!