It turns out that Pikachu exists in more than just Pokémon video games. The golden creature is real! A couple of years ago, an orphaned brushtail possum with a bright yellow coat arrived at the Boronia Veterinary Clinic in Melbourne. The stunned staff couldn’t help but give her the apt nickname of Pikachu.
The golden possum’s color is a result of a genetic mutation, as these marsupials are normally brown. The mutation causes “a low level of the pigment melanin which gives them their normal color,” the clinic shares in a Facebook post. And while we marvel at the possum’s incredible coat, the unique characteristic is not ideal when living among other creatures. “They are so rare in the wild and although their bright color makes them look special to us, they also stand out to predators!”
Luckily, the rescued Pikachu has remained safe. After spending the night in Boronia, she was given to a carer and ended up in a wildlife sanctuary “so she can live a long, happy life.” She’s not the only golden possum sighting, either. Wildlife Victoria, a nonprofit animal protection organization, receives calls about the creatures but keeps their location a secret to keep them safe.
This rare golden possum looks like a Pikachu in real life.