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Stuck in the mud

Friday, July 20, 2012

Eastern pygmy-possumOn July 14 a rare Eastern pygmy-possum was found by a little boy in Cowan in the North Shore of Sydney, half dipped in mud floundering in a bucket.

The little boy rescued the tiny creature thinking it was a mouse and placed it carefully into a shoebox. The family then delivered it to a WIRES volunteer as quickly as possible.

Weighing just 14g the possum was too weak to feed itself.

WIRES volunteer Lynda Garside said “the possum would usually be with its mother at this age. When I picked it up it clung for dear life to my thumb with all 4 feet shaking. I covered it with my other hand and placed it in a small pouch to keep it warm and make it feel safe. A reasonable weight for them to leave mum is 25-30g, this one is far below that.”

Eastern pygmy-possums live on a diet of pollen and nectar from banksias and eucalypts, they are able to get inside flowers being so small. They will also eat insects, seeds and fruits. They are fully grown at just 24-43g and are considered a vulnerable species in NSW making them even more precious.

In the last 18 months WIRES has rescued 29 of these tiny creatures across NSW. Easily mistaken for mice, they can be identified from the fusion of the second and third toes on their hind feet which forms a single digit with 2 claws and their curling tail which they use to grip.

WIRES General Manager, Leanne Taylor said “It is imperative that these animals are protected. WIRES exists to do this and to educate the general public about our native fauna. They all play an integral part in our natural environment”.


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