Rivendell students have been very excited this week by the opportunity to help care for a special furry little friend!
Ruffles, a baby ringtail possum, was unfortunately left orphaned by the side of the road. Fortunately, a kind stranger rescued Ruffles by taking him to the nearest vet, who in turn used their database to find the closest accredited Sydney Wildlife volunteer to look after him. Luckily for the staff and students of Rivendell, that volunteer is a teacher at Rivendell!
Because Ruffles is only a baby, he needs to be fed every 4 hours to help make him big and strong. Whilst the students are not allowed to handle Ruffles, for their safety and of course for Ruffle’s safety too, many were very eager to watch the feedings take place (in small numbers so as not to overwhelm him). Ruffles is happy and healthy and very soon will be strong enough to be released back into the wild.
During the feedings, students were shown the best way to prepare possum milk as well as how to hold baby possums for effective feeding. As tempting as it may be to cuddle and play with babies like Ruffles, it is harmful for him in the long run. Possums are not domestic animals and human contact during handling needs to limited to give them the best chance to survive by themselves in the wild.
Unfortunately, many native Australian animals are injured each year by cars or other animals. Opportunities such as helping to care for Ruffles teaches the students valuable skills needed to help protect our Australian wildlife.
For anyone who is interested in taking on a volunteer native animal rescue role, please find more information here (please note volunteers need to be over 18): Sydney Wildlife