Possum rescue in Blaxland: glass jar on head

A high level emergency services operation was needed to rescue a possum today (June 11) who was stuck up a tree in Blaxland with a glass jar on his head.

Blue Mountains Police Rescue found the possum with a glass jar stuck over its head, between 15 and 20 metres up a tree in Winnicoopa Road. It's believed the tomato paste jar had been stuck on its head for at least eight or nine hours.

A Parramatta Fire and Rescue NSW crew brought in its elevated hydraulic platform. Police Rescue grabbed the possum from the tree, handing it over to the care of a WIRES team who took it to a vet.

Police rescue officer Snr Constable Steve Day said: "We were called out by a local resident ... the possum was banging its head against a tree with a glass jar on its head.

"The tree was eaten out by white ants so we were unable to get access to it. We called fire and rescue and the Parramatta brigade sent their platform unit up to us.

"We managed to get access to it ... WIRES are taking the possum to the vet ...it's alive, hopefully it will be in good form."

The possum was treated at Nepean Animal Hospital in Regentville this afternoon. A spokeswoman said the one to two-year-old possum was well and the jar was off his neck.

Vet nurse Tegan Borg said the possum was distressed on arrival but he was weighed, sedated and once they put lubricant on the whole jar, "we angled it differently and it came off quite easily".

"It was a pasta sauce jar and was pretty clean, he had given it a good lick," Miss Borg said.

"He was lucky he could still breathe. He was stuck by the jaw, his neck is a tiny bit swollen, we've given him some pan relief and fluid. He doesn't seem too badly injured. He'll probably go back with the WIRES carer today once he's fully awake." A vet and two nurses worked on the possum.

Ms Borg said they treated all wildlife and strays for free. She encouraged residents to contain rubbish as much as possible and wash jars, so possums are "not enticed by smells".

Homeowner Susan Gould said her dog had alerted her to the distressed possum.

"I was putting out the washing, my dog started barking at one of the trees," she said. "We found a possum up in one of our largest trees with a jar on its head. WIRES have come out and saved the day."

She gave her thanks to all involved in the operation.