It’s easy to understand why Melbourne Wildlife Rescue Service technicians have christened this Possum as Pikachu.
The opossum has a rare genetic mutation that dyes its coat a bright golden color. Only lack the black spots and electricity.
The didelimorfos or opossums are a family of marsupial mammals very common both in Australia and in Latin America, where they receive many names according to the country (weasels in Argentina, rabipelaos in Venezuela, faras or chuchas in Colombia, opossums in Mexico …).
In the specific case of Pikachu, it is an Australian opossum puppy or brush tail post (Trichosurus vulpecula). Normally these mammals have dark brown fur, but Pikachu boasts a natural mutation similar to albinism that results in low levels of melanin. This makes her hair a golden color.
Pikachu is barely five months old, and has arrived at the animal shelter after being found alone in the forest. The opossum females usually carry their offspring on their backs, and the main hypothesis is that it was released at some point and was lost. Pikachu will remain in the shelter until he is ready to live in freedom.