Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary would officially like to introduce to the world our latest edition, a very special baby Brushtail possum named ‘Digger’. The five month old is no regular possum and is very special to not only Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, but to his kind in general as he is a golden brushtail possum, the rarest possum in Australia.
The golden gene is caused by a rare genetic mutation, acquired directly from a parent – in this case by father ‘Steve’, who is also a golden brushtail and one of the Sanctuary’s residents. Digger received his name as the result of a competition we held on Facebook, offering members of the public the rare chance to be forever linked to him by naming the baby possum. After receiving many wonderful options, Digger was the unanimous favourite, especially with Anzac Day fast approaching.
While still young, Digger spends his days curled up safely with mum ‘Brenda’ (a common brushtail), but has recently started spending time out from her pouch as he gets older and is ready to say hello to the world.
Aside from Steve and Digger, the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary also boasts another golden brushtail possum named ‘Heath’, who can be seen daily at the park as part of our ‘Blinky Bill, Wildlife to the Rescue Show’.The show offers a rare and unique experience as guests are invited onto the stage at the end of the show to get up close and personal with Heath while posing for a photo.
Golden brushtail possum facts:
• Golden Brushtail Possums grow to be slightly larger and plumper than the size of the average domestic cat and have strong claws and sharp teeth.
• Due to their colouration, they are often thought to be albinos although this is not correct as they do have coloured pigmentation for their skin and eyes.
• Although Common Brushtails are widespread through Mainland Australia, the Golden form has only been found in the eucalypt forests of Tasmania and south of Sydney.
• The female comes into season every 54 days with a gestation period of 44 days. This is the longest gestation period of any marsupial.
• Young are considered to be independent at around 18 months – two years of age.