Volunteers use possum magic to save stranded family

A lawyer, an arborist, a paramedic and a petrified possum huddle in Wodonga ahead of a storm… 

While it might sound like the start of a bad joke, for volunteers from Staghorn Wildlife Shelter saving the two possums from their scheduled-to-be-demolished home, was no laughing matter. 

Solicitor Belinda Fenn said the family of possums, including one baby, had recently been evicted from their home when the property next to Wodonga Ambulance Station was demolished about two weeks ago. 

The family sought shelter in a nearby tree, but when that too was about to be cut down, Ms Fenn called the Staghorn Wildlife Shelter to conduct a impromptu rescue. 

The shelter’s Jo Mitlehner said a combination of events, including Colin from North East Trees having his cherry picker on standby for the impending storm, meant the rescue was able to take place quickly. 

Mrs Mitlehner said rescuer Sheryl Webb bravely ascended to the top of the tree using the cherry picker and was able to capture an adult possum, but unfortunately sustained a small bite. 

Luckily, paramedics from the station next door were able to quickly treat Ms Webb. 

“The first possum was easy to rescue, he was quick weak and petrified,” Mrs Mitlehner said. 

“The bigger one was a bit more active.

“We’re going to take the two we caught into care before putting up boxes nearby, it’s important they come back to the same region.”

Two other possums were unable to be caught but relocated themselves to nearby bushes and will hopefully be reunited with their family after they are released. 

Mrs Mitlehner thanked Ms Fenn for calling the organisation and North East Trees for providing their cherry picker. 

She said it was lucky the rescue happened before the storm truly hit else they wouldn’t have access to the picker. 

Mrs Mitlehner said people should not attempt to remove possums themselves.