‘It’s Pikachu’: Rare possum goes viral for striking similarity to Pokemon character
The orphaned brushtail possum arrived at Boronia Veterinary Clinic in Melbourne in recent weeks after it was found lying on the ground by a member of the public.
Vet Stephen Reinisch told The Age that the critter likely fell off her mother’s back. Despite these difficult circumstances, the possum, which is believed to be about five months old, is in good health.
“The golden colour occurs due to a mutation which causes a low level of the pigment melanin which gives them their normal colour,” Boronia Veterinary Clinic And Animal Hospital explained on its Facebook page.
They are so rare in the wild as although their bright colour makes them look special to us, they also stand out to predators! Luckily for this baby brushtail, she’s gone to carers to be raised and then will end up in a wildlife sanctuary so she can live a long happy life.
The charming creature has garnered nearly 2000 shares and sparked hundreds of comments on Facebook.
“Pretty sure that’s a Pokemon,” one person commented, while another exclaimed: “It’s Pikachu!” Another commenter liked the photo so much that they couldn’t resist adding the final touches to make the possum a complete Pikachu lookalike.
After a brief stay at the clinic, the possum was placed with a wildlife carer. It is unlikely she will ever be released back into the wild because her golden coat makes her very vulnerable to predators.
“One of the issues with unusual colours, particularly if they are pale, is this a nocturnal animal and if they are pale they are obvious to predators like an owl,” said Dr Kath Handasyde from Melbourne University’s School of Biosciences explained.
Golden possums are rarely seen in the wild because those born with the mutation tend to get picked off by predators at a young age.
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