This week’s patient is Beetle the Brush-tailed Phascogale. Beetle was found orphaned at Cannon Creek near Boonah after a member of the public saw its mother being taken by a barn owl.
Beetle was brought to Currumbin Wildlife Hospital uninjured but requiring some TLC, and luckily she could go out to a wildlife carer the same day. Since Beetle is still young, she requires feeding every 4 hours (even during the night!) with milk replacement. She will stay in care for several months before she is old enough to fend for herself and to be released back into the wild.
These kind of situations are hard to prevent, but you can help by calling for help if you find a sick, injured or orphaned animal.
You can also help patients like Beetle by donating to Currumbin Wildlife Hospital Foundation here.
Together we can make a difference!
The brush-tailed phascogale is an Australian marsupial with dark grey fur covering its head and body and cream fur on its underside. It can be identified by its prominent ‘bottle brush’ tail which has long, smooth black hairs.
Unlike many other marsupials, the female brush-tailed phascogale does not have a proper pouch but only has pouch space which then grows extra folds to create a pouch 2 months before giving birth.
Brush-tailed phascogales are excellent climbers and can jump up to two metres between trees. This is an important ability for these creatures to have as they spend most of their time in trees, hardly ever venturing to the forest floors.
The brush-tailed phascogale is primarily active between the hours of dusk and dawn. They feed on a wide variety of insects, cockroaches, centipedes, spiders, ants and moths which they are able to withdraw from under bark and in small crevices using their fingers. Occasionally brush-tailed phascogales will also feed on the nectar from plants.