Yanchep building site workers save life of pygmy possum

Rescued: The female pygmy possum found at the Yanchep Surf Life Saving Club. Picture: Northern Valleys Wildlife Rescue
The female pygmy possum was lucky to have been found by some quick-thinking building site workers at the Yanchep Surf Life Saving Club. Picture: Northern Valleys Wildlife Rescue
Rescued: The female pygmy possum found at the Yanchep Surf Life Saving Club. Picture: Northern Valleys Wildlife Rescue The female pygmy possum was lucky to have been found by some quick-thinking building site workers at the Yanchep Surf Life Saving Club. Picture: Northern Valleys Wildlife Rescue

BUILDERS working on the Yanchep Surf Life Saving Club site have saved the life of a western pygmy possum found in a rubbish pile.

Bistel Construction site manager Rob Voss said his supervisor Nathan Morris spotted what he thought was a mouse in a pile of rubbish they were about to pick up with a bobcat on August 23.

“He picked it up and realised it wasn’t a mouse and brought it to me,” he said.

“We realised it was probably going to be a possum.

“We wrapped it up in a beanie then took it to the site office – we switched the heater on and put it in a cardboard box.”

Mr Voss said they called the City of Wanneroo, then wildlife carers, and one picked it a couple of hours later.

She kept him informed and later confirmed it was a fully grown female pygmy possum.

“It was about the size of the palm of my hand so I would never have thought it was fully grown,” Mr Voss said.

Northern Valleys Wildlife Rescue carer Sonia Cooke praised the builders for noticing the marsupial, calling wildlife carers and keeping it warm while they waited for a carer to collect it.

“It was a small pygmy possum, about the size of a mouse,” she said.

“They were so good to notice and pick it up.”

Ms Cooke said the carer looked after the possum for a couple of days then released it into banksia woodland on August 25.

She said the species was common across the south west of WA and normally hibernated at this time of year.

“Because they are so small, they are rarely seen – you would be very lucky to see one,” she said.

“Being nocturnal, they are not normally out in the day.”

Mr Voss said while they often saw snakes, spiders and stray cats on site, it was the first time they had come across a possum.

Anyone who finds sick or injured wildlife, can call the Wildcare Helpline on 9474 9055.