Narrow escape from the jaws of a Python
This little Ringtail possum was brought to us at Wildlife Mountain after having been found by a passing motorist on a dirt road. Her face was as you can see in the picture terribly damaged and she was in deep shock.
She was treated for shock and her face gently cleaned..
It soon became clear what had happened to her.
Needle fine puncture wounds were in a distinctive pattern on her face and the skin lifted above her eyes where a Carpet python snake had grabbed her.
How she had managed to get away from the snake is a wonder.
She was given pain relief and antibiotics once rehydrated and she soon started to recover.
She showed her strength and will to live being very brave even though she was at this stage totally blind and knew she was in unfamiliar surroundings and had lost her mum. She was not going to give in easily.
She drank her special possum formula and ate some native foliage during the night and the next day we went to Lismore vet clinic to have her wounds and eyes checked. The swelling in and around her eyes were quite a worry.
She was given sedation before her eyes were examined and cleaned, the swelling was quite intense and eye drops were prescribed plus the go ahead to continue antibiotics started the night before for infection. The vet was able to see that her eyes were not actually damaged so prognosis for a full recovery was good.
As to how long would it take was a guessing game as the vet nor had we ever seen anything quite like this. If a Python gets hold of a small animal like this 600 gram juvenile Ringtail possum the outcome is usually a meal for the snake.
Ringtail possums live in small community groups made up of family members. They have multiple young and do not do well as individuals without the support of their family.
Ringtail are tree dwellers and only spend a short time on the ground moving from one tree to another if the distance is too great for them to move through the trees. They live in a drey or if available may choose a nice hollow in an old tree.
This little possum should have been with mum and sibling, so again we had no idea as to how this situation may have come about.
She will join other Ringtail possum orphans once her wounds have healed and they will form a family group before release. This group will most likely stay together after release.
She has been named Siski after her saviour.
This picture was taken 10 days after her ordeal, her eyes are now open, she has full sight, she is still stong with a deternined will to get back out there, and will soon be ready to meet other orphans getting ready for life back in the wild.
Thank you Siski for taking the time to investigate a small furry creature on the road, she would not have survived without your intervention.