Well the cool change is coming and we are all waiting with bated breath. Melbourne has not had a heat wave like this in over 150 years and everyone is feeling the heat.
However it is not just the people struggling with this heat, our animals and especially our wildlife are really suffering. Within minutes today there were two incidents of native possums in distress.
First a girlfriend sent me a message telling me that her dog had found a mother ringtail possum and her baby up in the apple tree both suffering from heat stroke. My friend tried to cool the animals by carefully using fine mist from the garden hose, she also used the tip I had shared via Facebook from the Save A Dog Organisation which is to use a empty soft drink bottle with a panel cut out of the side as a container for water and suspend it up in the tree using a coat hanger.
Only moments after receiving my friend’s text, the kids and I were getting ready to go back into the pool at mum’s, when we saw this ringtail possum on the fence. Upon seeing us it dropped behind a pot plant and lay there looking really hot and bothered. We put some water out for him but he made no attempt to drink.
The RSPCA suggests picking up the animal and placing it inside a box with some water and putting it inside the house. Leave it alone for a couple of hours and then at nightfall release it back out into the garden.
The best way to handle a wild animal is to place a towel over it and scoop it up with the towel. Not everyone will be able to do this though and that is ok.
The possum at mum’s although hot was not as bad as the mother and baby ringtail at my friends house. To try to capture mum’s possum would have only caused it unnecessary stress, which would have been counterproductive.
By leaving the poor animal alone with fresh cool water and something to eat was the best thing we could have done for him. I believe my friend also made the right choice with her mother and baby.
Thankfully the cool change is just about here and the possum at mum’s house has recovered and is back up in the trees. I hope my friends possum and it’s baby are ok also.