Ringtail mum and her expanding family
Ringtail mum had a back injury and could not climb. However she looked after her two babies really well in a nest box on the floor of the cage.
Two weeks later I got into care a ringtail baby that was about the same size as her babies and was back-riding the other young ringtails that I had in care. So, having successfully given a mum brushtail an expanding family I decided to try doing likewise with this ringtail. She just looked at the young orphan and continued eating without a second glance.
Her back injury slowly improved and she moved into a drey that I had prepared for her. The three babies grew strong and very agile and I was sorry for mum having to care for so many young. However all went really well and finally they were ready for release. Mum, however looked thin and decidedly worn out. So I took mum out of the aviary and left the youngsters to self release. I left the door open and strung ropes from the aviary to the trees and through the shrubbery.
They came back for a few days for a feed and occasionally for a rest in the drey but soon they left to join the other ringtails in my garden.
I then put mum back into the aviary and a little baby came to me. Mum was apparently still lactating so I gave her this new orphan and watched with care. Baby cuddled up to mum and rode everywhere on her back but her milk stopped flowing so I had to supplement baby with Divetilact morning and evening. I would dig in the drey and find the baby tucked up into mum and toasty warm. Mum just looked at me with a sign and went back to sleep.
A gentle lady.