An adult possum must be very sick or injured to be found out during the day. This may be a result of a territorial dispute, where an old male is displaced by a younger male; the result of an illness, a vehicle strike, or previous animal attack the night before. Possums can also suffer the effects of poisoning from eating garden poisons such as snail or rodent bait. This manifests as severe lethargy coupled with excessive salivation, incontinence and possible convulsions. These possums require urgent medical attention at RSPCA ACT or a vet clinic.
Put the possum in a box with a towel so that it can hide underneath it if it wants. Any contained possum should be conveyed urgently to RSPCA ACT or to a vet. Please do not provide food or water prior to a medical assessment unless otherwise advised by RSPCA or veterinary staff.
Young joeys may be located in the pouch of mothers killed or injured in road accidents or dog/cat attacks. Like macropods they may survive in the pouch for some time. If they are attached to their mother's teat under no circumstances should any force be used to remove them from the teat or the pouch. They should be brought, inside the mother, to RSPCA ACT for specialist treatment and handling. If the possum is a young joey and it has lost or you cannot find its mother, wrap in a towel and immediately contact RSPCA on (02) 6287 8100.
Keep it warm and snug - inside someone's shirt is ideal as they cannot maintain their body temperature alone and will be in a state of shock. Do not attempt to feed them.