Teri Wilson
October 08, 2015 10:38 am

An orphaned baby possum is finding medical care and comfort at the Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia. And oh yeah, she’s also found a plush little friend.

Bettina was brought to the Taronga Wildlife Hospital last September after being discovered alone and suffering from dehydration (sniffle!) in Mosman, a Sydney suburb. She received emergency first aid and was given a stuffed kangaroo, which she hugs tightly when she sleeps and when she eats (and we’re guessing pretty much all the other times, too).

The toy serves an actual purpose other than, you know, providing photo ops that reduce us to tears. According to Felicity Evans, the veterinary nurse caring for Bettina at the zoo, “At this age she would naturally still be with her mother, so the soft toy gives her something to snuggle for comfort. It’s not as fluffy and woolly as an adult Brushtail Possum, but she clings to it using her claws and teeth as she would do with mum in the wild.”

Felicity (who sounds like maybe the most awesome veterinary nurse on the planet) carries Bettina around in a makeshift pouch and routinely wakes up in the middle of the night to feed the little joey with the most precious little baby bottle imaginable.

If you’re thinking, Hold up! That animal is way too cute to be a possum!, you’re actually right. Sort of. Bettina is a brushtail possum, a species indigenous to Australia. So no, this little cutie-pie isn’t of the same possum variety that hangs out in the alley by your trash cans. (Those are actually opossums, and come on, they’re pretty adorable too.)

Little known fact here in America: possums are every bit as iconic to Australia’s natural landscape as koalas and kangaroos. So it totally makes sense that Bettina’s little stuffed toy is a kangaroo. Nothing to see here . . . just one ridiculously cute icon hugging another.

Once Bettina is a little older, she’ll begin a “soft release” program, where she will be cared for by a specialist and eventually released into the wild. In the meantime, she’ll keep hugging her kangaroo and doing what she does best. Looking adorable.

Related reading: 

Here’s what happens when a possum decides to eat dinner in your kitchen

Orphaned kangaroo adopted by wallaby mama. Our hearts!

[All images via Taronga Zoo on Facebook.]

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