Ozark - the Australian Wildlife Carer's Information & Communications Network

Wed - Sep 06


Red (rufous) coloured ringtail possum

Here she is again...

Comparison with another ringtail

Tail comparisons..

Note that even the tip of the tail is a reddish colour,
whereas the usual ringtail tail tip is creamish coloured.

This possum was found by a busy highway, and held for an undetermined amount of time by the person finding her before being brought into care. She came in at just over 100gms, presented with black tarry stools and extremely strong smelling urine. Was very quiet, but not obviously sick (other than above presentation), and was in reasonably good condition for her size. Was treated under vet care with a number of antibiotics with little progress until recently. Vet found her urine to be extremely alkaline (almost off the scale), but no particular disease or parasite was identified. He felt that she had suffered a severe bowel and urinary tract infection, and that the black tarry stools were blood, which was later trying to be absorbed by the liver. Has recently made a good recovery. Her colouring is very unusual, and quite spectacular.

By Kathryn Keen

Postscript: This red ringtail joey healed and was raised with five other similar sized joeys. As she grew older, the brightness of her colouring faded and she more closely resembled the others. However, she did remain more ginger in colouring than the others, and also retained the more reddish tail tip, compared to the others. These possums have now been released. I've since hand-raised another unusually bright "red ringtail" this year, which came from a different area, but he wasn't as spectacularly coloured as the one pictured here.

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