Possums - Mosman, NSW

Possums

The possums, medium-sized, thick-furred marsupials, are by far the most common of all Australian mammals, being found in practically all parts of Australia, except Cape York Peninsula. The common possum is about the size of a Persian cat and is covered with thick soft fur. It has a beautiful, long, prehensile tail and is quite harmless.

At one time hunted for food by the aborigines, the possum was later trapped, poisoned, or shot by the settlers for its fur. In Queensland the number killed for this purpose in one year was officially estimated at three million, but all species are now protected and to-day its main enemies are the goanna, fox and eagle.

As they keep to the trees and move only at night, possums are not easy to observe, but on a moonlit night they can be seen scampering about the branches or silhouetted against the sky. Although rather timid, they quickly respond to kindness and can be induced in a few days to take pieces of food from a human hand. Thus encouraged they will readily make their home in a private garden. In the wild state, their diet consists mainly of leaves, buds, and fruits, with an occasional small bird or reptile.

Possoms breed once a year and as a rule two young are produced. Like all marsupials, the young remain for a long period in the mother's pouch and, when fully furred, they leave the pouch and transfer themselves to her back where they live until they grow sufficiently strong to fend for themselves.

Contact Details

Location

Taronga Zoo, Bradleys Head Rd., Mosman, NSW, 2088
Mosman, NSW, 2088