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Unusual creature drops in for check up


Captain Kendall Crocker with Mangitungs, a cus cus presented for a check-up at the veterinary tent established in a Papua New Guinea village as part of Pacific Partnership 2013.

The veterinary team deployed for Pacific Partnership 2013 has treated a most unusual patient. Far from the farm stock and pets they were expecting, the team were presented with a native cus cus, a striking bush possum, while visiting a village in Papua New Guinea.

Named Mangitungs, the cus cus was brought in to a full day community health fair by his owner Erica. Mangitungs was considered very healthy by Australian Army Captain Kendall Crocker who gave the curious creature a check-up.
Mangitungs, who is estimated to be around four months old, drew the attention of the combined Australian-American team working at the health fair.

“We had received a lot of dogs for check-ups and then out of nowhere someone presented an orange looking possum with white patches”, United States Army Specialist Kellie Johnson said.

“He was actually really healthy but given he was only four months old it was good to give him what was probably his first ever check-up.”

The veterinary team are part of the over 100 member strong contingent currently embarked in HMAS Tobruk. They will offer veterinary services to local people wishing to improve the health of their animals.

Pacific Partnership 2013 is a humanitarian aid mission to render medical, dental, veterinary and engineering assistance to countries in the Pacific region.