Zoológico de São Paulo recently became home to a pair of Bare-tailed Woolly Opossum joeys. The siblings were orphaned when their mother was attacked and killed, in their forest, by a domestic dog. The joeys were found, unharmed, clinging to their mother’s body.
Zoo technicians have been hand-rearing the brother and sister. Initially they required milk, but they have now progressed to solids and are now feeding themselves pureed fruit with insects.
The Bare-tailed Woolly Opossum (Caluromys philander), also called the White-eared Opossum, is a species from South America. Its range includes Bolivia, Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela. It is a species restricted only to moist forests.
Like other members of the genus Caluromys, the Bare-tailed Woolly Opossum is a strongly arboreal species of marsupial, differing from other didelphid opossums in having a comparatively large encephalization quotient and smaller litter size. Its name comes from its naked, prehensile tail.
It feeds on fruits, nectar, invertebrates and small vertebrates. Bare-tailed Woolly Opossums actively climb through the upper canopy of trees as they look for fruit and insects.