A possum and her baby do what they can to escape the heat.
A possum and her baby do what they can to escape the heat. Contributed

Possums hunker down in shed to escape the heat

AS A noisy intruder in the middle of the night, a lot of common brushtail possums are typically unwelcomed by residents when they are spotted in suburbia.

Not these little guys - North Bundaberg resident Jo Widdon found them attempting to cool down in her shed on Monday.

She said she first found the mother possum feeling the heat, with a baby in its pouch.

"She got him out to cool him down (and) then they both went back to sleep, but the little one stayed out of the pouch this time," she said.

Ms Widdon said she thought they were really feeling the heat.

Christine Wynne, a wildlife carer of 12 years and president of the Queensland Wildlife Carers and Volunteers Association (QWCVA) , said local native animals such as possums and flying foxes were at risk of heat stress with the current weather.

"Babies can just drop off their mothers if they are so hot and heat stressed," she said.

"If you find natives being affected by the heat, you can leave some water in a dish for them nearby.

"Or a bit of nice juicy fruit like watermelon or rockmelon.

"Put your dogs inside and give the possums a chance to recover from the heat.

"That's about all you can do."

Ms Wynne said she was regularly contacted by people wishing to relocate possums away from their homes.

"It's actually illegal to move them - they are protected by law and are very territorial," she said.

If people are trying to stop possums from getting into the roof space of their home or shed, Ms Wynne suggested they wait until the animal has exited for a nightly feed and seal up the access to prevent them returning.

The not-for-profit QWCVA rescue and care for sick, injured and orphaned wildlife for release back into the wild.

Phone 4159 6431 to contact a wildlife carer in the Bundaberg area.

POSSUM PICK-ME-UPS

To give possums the best chance to recover from heat stress, Christine Wynne suggests:

Leaving a small water dish nearby 

Giving it piece of juicy fruit like watermelon or rockmelon

Keeping pets away from the possum

Giving it some space - don't frighten them

Contacting a wildlife carer or vet if they show signs of distress after 24 hours.

A possum and her baby do what they can to escape the heat.
A possum and her baby do what they can to escape the heat. Contributed