Meet Boop, a Rescued Marsupial Smaller Than a Paper Clip!

Animal rescuers in Australia found one of the tiniest mammals on Earth. Realizing they could save the delicate little creature, zoologists and veterinarians decided to nurse little Boop back to health before releasing her back into the wild.

What They Found

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Boop is a feathertail glider who fell out of her mother’s pouch before rescuers found her. Humans took the baby to the nearby Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital so trained experts could continue to care for her. Boop has to stay warm because she’s hairless and very tiny, so staffers wrapped her up in crocheted yarn. Boop is no ordinary baby — she weighs less than 1 gram, which is less than a paperclip, and she is about the size of a human thumbnail.


Care Regimen

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Someone constantly watches this tiniest of tiny marsupials to make sure Boop is well cared for in every way. Baby feathertail gliders normally spend 60 to 65 days in their mother’s pouch before they come out into the world full of gray fur. After 100 days, feathertails are ready for adult feathertail food, which comprises insects, fruit, nectar, and pollen. Feathertail gliders are native to Australia and are one of the smallest marsupials on Earth.

Biology

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Adult feathertail gliders reach about 13 grams, or half an ounce, in weight. Adults fit into the palm of a human hand and are no more than 3 inches in length. The common name comes from the unique tail that looks like a feather, but it is made of hair on either side of a central hub. The tail is slightly longer than the body of a feathertail glider, and these creatures can curl up that tail into a roll much like a sleeping bag. Feathertail gliders can live up to seven years in the wild, which is what Boop has to look forward to once the zoo rehabilitates her. Boop’s story proves that every animal deserves to live no matter how big or how small. Watch this video about another successful baby animal rescue.

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