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Shilo.. please joint the "Marsupials of the World" at http://www.projectnoah.org/missions/8445... and add this wonderful spotting. Thanks :-)
Lori, thank you for the lecture.. I find it very important to know those things and it makes me think about how fragile life can get when you mess around with its natural environment.. and sadly, we're messing it up all over the globe..
Susan, during the recent drought years, we had pademelons and wallabies eating their evening meal with our chickens and ducks, eating lucerne with our alpacas, and possums living permanently in the barn . We've since changed to non-processed poultry feed (made up of organic grains) to so that we don't have any processed pellets lying around. Shilo, I don't mean to lecture but it's very important that marsupials not get processed food. Marsupials are particularly vulnerable to a lot of things that we might not consider, such as a condition called "exertional or capture myopathy" which is a disease of muscles that is characterized by damage to muscle tissues brought about by physiological changes, usually following extreme exertion, struggle and/or stress. So even just letting one's dogs chase the wallabies can result in their later dying from fatal changes in their metabolism. I've found wallabies in this collapsed condition and had to put them down.
Lori, you touched a very good point..People find it hard to understand why it is bad to feed wild animals.. I don't blame them.. i think that there's not enough info about this problem..education about this problem is needed..
Lori, I agree with you as to not to feed the wild if possible. I have a possum that visit my back yard habitat every night and ate all the sunflower seeds that I put out for the birds. The other night I put out an old apple and the next morning it was gone! I do not want to intentionally feed the possum but it will still appear around my neighborhood running through from house to house. I figure food is scare since we are in drought for this whole yr and part of last yr too.
Susan, ideally one shouldn't feed wildlife at all. All animals have evolved to make use of nutrients in their environment. When we give them non-native foods, we can deter them from eating the nutrients that they really need, either now or for storing for times of scarcer food supply. Processed foods are the most 'deceptive' to their systems (and ours). But some wild animal become very tame, and are very good extortionists. We've had possums try and break into the house trough open windows or at the very least show up in the evening for a treat (often with young in tow). We find that they are every happy to get a slice of cucumber, capsicum (bell pepper) or even a banana peel. Ironically, we've spent a lot of money and effort keeping them out of our veggie garden.P.s. we were at Cradle Mountain last weekend, and a pair of possums (possibly young brothers) wandered right into our cabin. We lured them outside with some veggies. Photos to follow.
it is so good to have such crucial info for the survival of the species...good job Lori! Now I am educated!
I don't know who gave them the bread, but it's possibly the worst thing to give them. There's a condition called Lumpy jaw, which is very common in marsupials. It's mainly caused by the bacterium Fusobacterium necrophorous. It's widely believed that bread and other sugar-rich foods cause the bacterium to flourish in the animals mouth, which leads to the jaw infections. Most affected animals starve to death.When feeding marsupials, I prefer to give them raw vegetables.
Alice, I agree their possums are so much prettier than ours.
Thanks for the laugh! Once I put a bowl of beer out to catch slugs in my yard, instead the Racoons drank it and got a little tipsy.
I think it's the Ozzie beer.. makes 'em rounder and more relaxed.. :)
Your possum is so much prettier than ours!
Spotted on Nov 15, 2004 Submitted on Jul 2, 2011
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