golden possum that looks like pikachu

Rare Golden Possum Rescued By Australian Veterinary Clinic Looks Like Pikachu

This is definitely not an ad for Pokemon Go, but if you are a fan of Pokemon, you should have traveled to Australia back in 2018. Veterinarians had come upon Pikachu- a very rare and cute yellow possum. The origin story behind this marsupial is quite sad. The animal was found lying on the ground alone. Being just five months old, there was no chance of survival unless someone stepped in to save it.

Her rescuer, therefore, took her to the Boronia Veterinary Clinic and Animal Hospital in Melbourne. The baby marsupial is a type of possum known as a brushtail possum. But if one were to look at her, they would consider her anything but common. Her incredible orange-yellow coat is definitely quite pretty to look at.

In a Facebook post, the hospital authorities mentioned, “We recently had a very special possum brought into the clinic. They are so rare in the wild as although their bright color makes them look special to us, they also stand out to predators.”

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Although most brushtail possums are usually a little grayish in color, Pikachu suffers from a genetic mutation. This mutation has resulted in a lack of melanin- which is also the same pigment that is responsible for dark eyes, skin, and hair in humans. Dr. Stephen Reinisch, who checked in on the possum, stated, “She was a bit shy at first, as expected, given the strange situation she had found herself in, but was otherwise in good spirits and health.”

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Meet Pikachu- The Yellow-Haired Possum From Australia

Unfortunately, the yellow-colored female possum fell on the ground from her mother’s back where her rescuer had discovered her. The rescuer assumed that the clinic would be taking care of Pikachu before she went into the hands of her carers. Since she was still too young to go back to the wild, she would need to live with the carers until she felt ready. Interestingly, while this possum is definitely quite different from the other brushtail possums, she isn’t exactly one in a million. Albeit rare, there have been quite a few sightings of the yellow possum throughout Melbourne. 

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With possums being quite territorial, it was quite tricky to decide when Pikachu would be free from captivity. In fact, the main question confronting the vets was whether they release her at all Speaking to The Age, Dr. Reinisch mentioned, “If she becomes a little more out there and a bit feisty she might be released, but if she stays anxious she will remain in long-term care.”

Nonetheless, the authorities did clarify that even if the possum was not living in the wild, it wouldn’t be a captive. Rather, “she would end up in a wildlife sanctuary so she can live a long happy life.”[2]

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Sources

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  1. An Australian veterinary clinic rescued an adorable golden possum that actually looks like Pikachu.” Business Insider. Rachel Baxter. December 6, 2018.
  2. What gives golden possums their colour?Australian Geographic. Jenna Hanson. August 31, 2017.
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