| Sir Colin MacKenzie Fauna Park
P.O. Box 248, Healesville, Victoria, 3777, Australia
Fisheries and Wildlife Division
14 FEB 1977
DIRECTOR: CHAIRMAN: SECRETARY:
GRAEME G. GEORGE SIR JOHN JUNGWIRTH, C.M.G., A.A.S.A. R. T. M. PESCOTT
Telephone: (059) 62 4022 Telephone: 85 2138 Telephone: 82 1370
10th February, 1977.
Fisheries and Wildlife Division,
Ministry for Conservation,
P.O. Box 41,
EAST MELBOURNE. VIC. 3002
Report on Deaths of Leadbeater's Possum
During the visit by Mr. De Guescelin of your Division on 13th. January to inspect our Leadbeater's Possum, it was noticed that one of the immatures had lost some fur across the back and it was decided to treat the group of three (one adult female and a pair of immatures) for a possible fungal condition. A similar condition had been diagnosed by our Veterinary Consultant in Ringtail Possums a few weeks earlier and was successfully treated by bathing with "Halamid".
The trio was transferred to the Nursery on the 17th. January, bathed in "Halamid" solution and placed together in a small cage. Fleas were found in their fur and bedding and they were dusted with "Fleax" powder. On the 18th they were again bathed in "Halamid", the bedding was changed and their original enclosure washed down with Malawash. On the 19th. a third bath in "Halamid" was given, and some "Ungvita" was again applied to the bare patches of skin on the two immatures. "Ungvita" was again applied on the 20th. and the animals were left alone untill the 28th., apart from routine cleaning and feeding.
At 5 p.m. on the 28th. tje young male was found dead, with bruised throat and front foot pads, and much of the fur matted with either food or ointment. It appeared the animals had been under stress due to their confinement and treatment, so the adult and young female were immediately returned to the original enclosure and placed back in their familiar nest-box.
On the 29th. the two females were caught again and bathed to clean their fur. When dry they were returned to their nest box. They ate little if any food that night and were found ddead the next morning.
The three specimens were sent to Dr. Paul Presidente at the Werribee Veterinary Clinic for detailed post mortem examination on the 1st. February. At our request the carcases of the young male and adult female were eviscerated for P.M. and then frozen for preparation of study skins and skulls at the National Museum. The skin of the young female was digested and sectioned. Dr. Presidente advised by phone, that as we expected, P.M. results indicated stress as the primary cause of death. They found no evidence of a pathological skin condition. A detailed report is expected from Dr. Presidente in due course.
These animals were received by us on 19th. March 1976 as an adult female with two dependant young not long out of the pouch. They have been handled very infrequently, only an occasional check of their progress being made by visual inspection in their nest box each few weeks. As the adult female
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