This adorable tiny marsupial has been rescued after it fell from a tree while trying to hide from a wildfire in a natural park.
The rescue took place in the natural park of Nonguen in the city of Chiguayante in the province of Concepcion in central Chile.
According to the National Forestry Corporation in Chile (CONAF), firefighters found the tiny monito del monte, also known as a colocolo opossum (Dromiciops gliroides). It is thought to have fallen off a tree when it became dehydrated while hiding from the wildfire that is burning in the park.
Reports said that the rescued marsupial was taken to the headquarters of the local Agriculture and Livestock Service (SAG) where it was examined.
The Director of SAG for the region of Biobio Ivan Ramirez Delpin told local media: “After finding this juvenile specimen of monito del monte it was rescued and transferred to our headquarters where it was examined and we found it was not injured or burnt.”
Ramirez Delpin added: “We think it fell off a tree where it lived. It was dehydrated so we gave it water and we took it to the rescue centre of the University of Concepcion (UdeC) Chillan where it will join a family of monitos del monte”
The SAG has warned local inhabitants that more encounters with wild animals could happen in the following days as animals flee from the fire.
Local authorities recommend not touching the animals and keeping domestic pets away as they might be attacked.
The fire in the natural park of Nonguen has already burnt 100 hectares of forest in the area, according to local media.
The work to extinguish the fire goes on.
The monito del monte is only native to the southwestern South American countries Argentina and Chile and lives in thickets of bamboo. Their head to body length is around 8–13 centimetres (3.1–5.1 inches) and they typically weigh between 16–42 grams (0.56–1.48 ozs).
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Story By: Jonathan Macias, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
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