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Animal welfare group needs funding for “indispensable” air-conditioned space for critically endangered possums

Craig DuncanSouth Western Times
FAWNA president Suzanne Strapp with a possum with pouch young in the paw room.
Camera IconFAWNA president Suzanne Strapp with a possum with pouch young in the paw room. Credit: Craig Duncan

A South West animal welfare group is seeking funding so it can keep its air-conditioned space that has been “indispensable” in saving critically endangered possums.

FAWNA aims to raise $30,000 to purchase the air-conditioned space it uses to house critically endangered western ringtail possums who are suffering extreme burns and dehydration.

The space known as the “paw room” provides a secure temperature-controlled area where it can monitor and rehabilitate possums.

The western ringtail possum is critically endangered
Camera IconA western ringtail possum. Credit: Craig Duncan/Bunbury Herald

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FAWNA president Suzanne Strapp said the constant excessive heat is leaving many possums with burns from metal roofs or extremely dehydrated, and the need for a temperature-controlled space has never been greater.

Ms Strapp said she tried installing a temperature-controlled space last season, but was unsuccessful.

“I lost three possums in one night,” she said.

Due to seasonal shifts burnt-paw possum admissions started a month early this season, and the animal shelter has been inundated with at-risk possums throughout summer.

Critically Endangered western ringtail possum, Mr Brown, was found dehydratd and with burnt feet
Camera IconBurnt and dehydrated possums have to go through extensive treatment to recover. Credit: Craig Duncan/RegionalHUB

Ms Strapp said the paw room is able to house more than 50 possums, and has been “indispensable” in the uphill battle to save the animals.

FAWNA is renting the space from Instaproducts but have been told they can purchase the space for $45,000.

Ms Strapp said she was able to raise about $15,000 by the end of January from community donations, but needs the remaining $30,000 for the space.

FAWNA has created a GoFundMe campaign to help reach its target.

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