Mutated Australian Possum Now Named Pikachu

Image: The Age

Last month an orphaned possum was handed in to a wildlife rescue service in Melbourne. Born with a “genetic mutation”, its bright colour scheme has earned it a very fitting name: Pikachu.

The Age reports that the possum has a specific mutation that “results in low levels of melanin”, meaning that instead of its fur being brown, it’s instead turned out gold.

Around five months old, she was brought in after being found by a member of the public, likely having fallen off her mother’s back. Pikachu won’t be released back into the wild, because her bright fur would make her an easy target for predators.

“One of the issues with unusual colours, particularly if they are pale, is this a nocturnal animal and if they are pale they are obvious to predators like an owl,” Melbourne University’s Dr Kath Handasyde told The Age.

While rare as a percentage of the wider population, Pikachu isn’t the only golden possum in the area; Wildlife Victoria’s Caroline Dazey says there are “little pockets of them in Victoria and we try to keep their location secret to keep them safe”.

Hopefully there’s a platypus that looks like Psyduck living with them as well.


Comments

    Let's Go Possum in the Straya region coming soon!

      I would gladly take a (stereotypical) Australian themed Pokemon version, along the lines of Sun/Moon's Hawaii theme.

        Given our fauna, it would almost seem lazy to do. Nature's done the hard work of designing them already.

        The platypus, kangaroo, koala, echida, emu, frilled-neck's, kookaburra's, etc etc are all so strange they could (and have in some cases) been the models for a lot of Pokemon.

        Yeah, that's the introduction of triple typed Pokemon. Every single Pokemon in the game is part Poison type.

    Hearing a noise, the yellow possum pops their head out of the blanket to take a peek at you.

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