Last month, an orphaned possum was handed over to a rescue service for wildlife in Melbourne. Born with a “genetic mutation”, its bright color scheme has given it a very suitable name: Pikachu.
The age reports that the possum has a specific mutation that “leads to low levels of melanin”, which means that instead of the fur’s brown it has instead become gold.
About five months old she was taken in after being subjected to a general citizen, probably due to her mother’s back. Pikachu will not be released into nature, because her bright fur would make her an easy target for predators.
“One of the problems with unusual colors, especially if they are pale, this is a nightly animal and if they are pale they are obvious to predators like an owl,” said Melbourne University’s doctor Kath Handasyde The Age ].
Pikachu is rare as a percentage of the wider population, and is not the only golden possum in the area; Wildlife Victoria’s Caroline Dazey says there are “little pockets of them in Victoria and we try to keep their place secret to keep them safe.”
Hopefully there is a platypus that looks like Psyduck lives with them as well.