Unexpected parcel in Minlaton mailbag returned to sender
27 February 2015
Mail sorter Jack May discovered an unexpected parcel last week when he emptied a private mailbag at the Minlaton Post Office. In the bottom of the bag was a tiny Pygmy Possum that had been unknowingly ‘posted’ from a property on Lower Yorke Peninsula.
"It was hard to know who got the biggest surprise – me or the possum," said Jack. "I thought it was a mouse but after a closer look noticed it had big eyes and a curly tail, and it looked way too cute to be a mouse."
Yorke District officers with Natural Resources Northern and Yorke (NRNY) later confirmed that the unstamped mail was a female Pygmy Possum.
Business Support Officer with Yorke District NRNY Cath Cameron said that many rural landholders used converted fuel drums for mail boxes. "They put their letters in mailbags and leave them in the drums for collection by a van that does a full circuit of Southern Yorke Peninsula."
"The Pygmy Possum must have climbed into the mailbox and crawled into the empty mailbag where it curled up for a sleep," she said.
The Pygmy Possum was cared for by NRNY staff overnight before being returned to where it came from.
Ms Cameron said it was helpful that post office staff had kept note of which bag the possum was found in as that meant the animal could be released back into its territory.
"It was a classic case of return-to-sender," Ms Cameron said. "When I dropped it back near the mailbox it hopped off my hand and scampered into nearby bush without even a wave."
By the time it got back home, the Pygmy Possum had travelled more than 200 kilometres, courtesy of an Australia Post contractor and NRNY staff.
Anyone who finds a native animal in an unusual place requiring relocation should contact the Natural Resources Centre in Clare on 8841 3444.