RESCUER: Robert Irwin climbed a tree to collect the baby ring-tailed possum.
RESCUER: Robert Irwin climbed a tree to collect the baby ring-tailed possum. Ben Beaden

Gypsy rose to the occasion to babysit lost ring-tail possum

Gypsy the camel "babysat" a lost ring-tailed possum at Australia Zoo.

A CAMEL and a ring-tailed possum have formed an unlikely friendship at Australia Zoo.

The wild baby ring-tailed possum was found on Thursday morning hiding in the soft fur of a camel named Gypsy.

Another little possum was found in the garden next to the camel enclosure.

The odd couple pairing - quite like that of The Jungle Book's Mowgli and Baloo - has left zookeepers guessing what led these juveniles to embark on their nighttime adventure.

One theory is that the babies fell from their mother's back during the night while moving from tree to tree.

They might have fallen while being chased by a predator or become too heavy for the mother possum to carry. Zookeepers spotted the mother high in a nearby tree, so after a quick consultation with the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital, a rescue was launched.

Young Robert Irwin is a skilled tree climber so he was happy to take charge of securing a small cardboard box to a branch in the tree.

He later deposited the babies in there for their mother to return and collect them safely off the ground.

Ring-tailed possums are often preyed on by carpet snakes which are particularly active during summer.

Zookeepers said Gypsy, who had been with the zoo only since June 2014, was a gracious babysitter.


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