A beagle who recently lost her litter of pups at birth has teamed up with an orphan possum so the two can provide each other comfort and company.
Molly, the beagle, and Poss, the possum, live on the Moyle family cattle ranch in Victoria state, on the southeastern tip of Australia. 9News Melbourne did a Feb. 12 segment on the pair, showing Poss clinging to Molly’s back as the beagle runs about.
“They’re an unlikely pair, and I think that possum thought Mol was her mother and vice versa,” said Elle Moyle, who along with her mom, Sara, owns Molly, and was interviewed for the story.
“It’s certainly uplifted her mood,” said Sara Moyle. “They both needed each other, I think, so it’s been a fantastic relationship.”
— Nine News Melbourne (@9NewsMelb) February 12, 2019
Even though Poss is nocturnal, Molly will hang out by the tree where her marsupial pal is sleeping and wait.
If you’re wondering why a possum would be friendly enough to tag along with a dog, you’re probably thinking of the North American opossum, known for playing dead and being anti-social. The possum in this story is a different animal. It’s found in Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, Sulawesi and China, and is more closely related to a kangaroo than the opossum of the Americas.
This isn’t the first time a dog and an opossum/possum have bonded. In 2016, Inside Edition reported on a group of Brazilian baby opossums who bonded with a dog. A dog-opossum pair that lived with the Rare Species Fund kept up their bonded friendship even after the opossum grew to full size. And a fostered opossum in Georgia in 2018 used his foster mom’s dog as furry comfort.
Have you ever witnessed unusual animal friendships?