When the staff at the Boronia Veterinary Clinic in Melbourne, Australia has initially met this golden possum, they all thought it is a character of a video game and the resemblance was uncanny. However, the cute little thing turned out to be as real as possible and in desperate need of help!
The surreal creature proved to be a very rare golden possum. While the vast majority of the possums got a brown coat, apparently due to a mutation these tiny marsupials could also have a golden fur. “The golden colour occurs due to a mutation which causes a low level of the pigment melanin which gives them their normal colour,” the clinic wrote on Facebook. “They are so rare in the wild as although their bright colour makes them look special to us.”
Since the cute little thing looked like a real-life Pokémon, they called her Pikachu. And they couldn’t find a more fitting name. Even many of those wild creatures that suffer due to a lack of pigmentation usually have a very short lifespan, in Pikachu’s situation the vet at the clinic gave assurance she could live a very long life as she had ended up in a wildlife sanctuary.
The eye-catching possum was initially found laying on the ground by a passerby, who rushed her at the Boronia Clinic. Most likely the little one had fallen on her mom’s back or worst she had been abandoned. Usually animals that suffer of lack of pigmentation face a lot of obstacles in the wild. Their lack of camouflage makes them easy targets for predators and frequently they are even rejected by their own families. In Pikchu’s situation it might happened the same.
“She was brought in by a member of the public who found her on the ground,” Dr. Stephen Reinisch at the Boronia Veterinary Clinic and Hospital, told. “We suspect she had fallen off her mother’s back…Their bright color makes them an easier target for predators as they do not camouflage as well as their brown counterparts.”