Are you a Pokéhunter? Well grab your Pokéball and catch the next flight to Australia – a real-life Pikachu has been spotted in Melbourne. Well, kind of. Meet Pikachu, a very rare – and adorable – yellow marsupial.
The most adorable baby possum was found in Australia and upon further investigation, the internet is convinced he’s a Pikachu. With no disguise.
This rescued brushtail golden possum went viral for her incredible orange-yellow coat
Pikachu, the rescued golden possum. Boronia Veterinary Clinic And Animal Hospital/Facebook
Pikachu was sadly found lying on the ground by a concerned member of the public. She is only a baby – about five months old – and it’s thought she probably fell from her mother’s back. Her rescuer took her to the Boronia Veterinary Clinic and Animal Hospital (BVCAH) in Melbourne.
She belongs to a species of possum known as the common brushtail possum. But Pikachu is anything but common thanks to her incredible orange-yellow coat. She’s so snazzy that she and her kin are generally referred to as “golden possums”.
“We recently had a very special possum brought in to the clinic,” the BVCAH wrote in a Facebook post. “They are so rare in the wild as although their bright color makes them look special to us, they also stand out to predators!”
The clinic in Boronia, Australia announced the news about their very special resident on Facebook
“It was a time long ago now, but it seems her images will forever live online,” said Dr. Stephen Reinisch from Boronia Veterinary Clinic and Hospital.
He then recounted their meeting two years ago. “She was brought in by a member of the public who found her on the ground. We suspect she had fallen off her mother’s back.” At the time, they estimated her to be around 5 months old and at that age should have still been living with and being looked after by my mum.
Rare Golden Possum spotted pic.twitter.com/iIpYVK8Hu8
— CryptoJ0ules (@CryptoJ0ules) December 3, 2018
Stephen said that “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.” The possum spent the night at the clinic and was then collected by a carer the following day.
Possums are nocturnal, so being bright yellow makes her an easy target for creatures like owls, as well as Pokéhunters attempting to capture her. Golden possums are slightly more common in Tasmania as it is home to fewer predators.
Possums are also very territorial, which makes it tricky to release them from captivity. Whether or not she’s eventually released remains to be seen.
“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,” Dr Reinisch told The Age.
According to the BVCAH, if Pikachu isn’t released, she “will end up in a wildlife sanctuary so she can live a long happy life.” At least she won’t get sucked into a Pokéball and pitted against a Dragonite anytime soon.
It turns out, there’re more golden possums out there and they’re the cutest little creatures ever
The standard color for a brushtail possum is brown. “However,” Stephen explained, “they can have less common color variations like this special yellow possum.” He said that there are other possums with this same color mutation around, but they are much less common in the wild. “Their bright color makes them an easier target for predators as they do not camouflage as well as their brown counterparts.”
Caroline Dazey from the non-profit Wildlife Victoria said that there are more golden possums found in the state, especially on Melbourne’s fringes. “We do get calls about them, there are little pockets of them in Victoria.” However, the volunteers keep their location secret in order to keep them safe.
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The brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) is one of the most widespread species in Australia, found throughout the eastern and northern parts of the continent, as well as some western regions, Tasmania, and a number of offshore islands.