SECOND CHANCE: Wildlife carer Renae Morrisey of Yamanto rescued this baby possum after its mother was hit by passing traffic. Babies can live up to five days in their mother’s pouch.
SECOND CHANCE: Wildlife carer Renae Morrisey of Yamanto rescued this baby possum after its mother was hit by passing traffic. Babies can live up to five days in their mother’s pouch. David Nielsen

IT MAY sound morbid but when Ipswich wildlife carer Renae Morrisey sees a dead animal on the side of the road, she always stops to get a closer look.

It's a habit not done out of gruesome curiosity but rather to save the lives of baby marsupials like her most recent patient, Lucky Diamond.

The three-month-old possum was trapped inside its mother's pouch after the adult brushtail was killed by passing traffic.

"Even after its mother has died, baby marsupials can survive in their mother's pouch for up to five days," the Yamanto mother-of-two said.

"So when my two girls and I noticed the possum, we immediately pulled over to inspect the animal.

"It was my 10-year-old daughter Caitlin who first noticed the baby brushtail in its mother's pouch ... so we've named her Lucky Diamond"

After she removed the baby animal from its mother, Mrs Morrisey took the possum home to care for it during its vulnerable age of infancy.

It's a situation not unfamiliar to the 44-year-old, who regularly nurses animals like possums, owls, lorikeets and wallabies back to health.

But Mrs Morrisey said the undertaking could not be done by just anyone with an affinity for caring for animals.

"My daughters and I are trained wildlife carers ... you have to have a wildlife permit to do this kind of work," she said.

Once Lucky Diamond reaches a weight of 800g to 1500g, Mrs Morrisey said she would begin the process of releasing the possum back into the wild.



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