A rescued baby Brushtail Possum displaying a rare "golden" mutation that makes her look like Pikachu has become the unofficial mascot of an Australian veterinary clinic.
The Common Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) is a large marsupial mammal native to northern and eastern Australia. Depending on the sub-species, their fur ranges from silvery-gray to darker brown and black.
Some Brushtail Possums, however, exhibit a rare genetic mutation that inhibits production of the dark pigment melanin, leaving their fur a rich golden hue. Combined with their naturally long and pointy ears, these mutant possums immediately recall that most beloved of all Pokemon characters, Pikachu!
A very young mutated Brushtail Possum found recently on a roadside in Australia's southeastern state of Victoria was brought to the Boronia Veterinary Clinic And Animal Hospital by a good samaritan. “They are so rare in the wild, as although their bright colour makes them look special to us, they also stand out to predators!,” stated Dr. Stephen Reinisch, a vet at the Boronia Clinic, in a Facebook post.
“Luckily for this baby brushtail, she's gone to carers to be raised and then will end up in a wildlife sanctuary so she can live a long happy life,” he added. The cute critter seems to have made a lasting impression on clinic staff, as her photo now appears as their Facebook account's avatar. Real-live Pikachu, they chose you!