Service restored between Concord, Pleasant Hill after opossum incident


Service restored between Concord, Pleasant Hill after opossum incident

Service was restored shortly after noon today between Concord and Pleasant Hill after a disruption caused by an opossum getting into a track switching mechanism.

The animal became lodged in the switch, eventually causing the switch's motor to burn out.  Crews removed the deceased animal and replaced the switch.

The incident that began around 11 a.m. caused delays along the Pittsburg/Bay Point line; special shuttle trains were used to carry passengers around the problem area until service was restored.

Susan Heckly, wildlife rehabilitation director at the Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek, said opossum are common in the East Bay.  They thrive around inhabited areas, taking shelter under decks and in sheds, snacking on pet food or bird food and drinking from bird baths and swimming pools.

"They're not destructive; they don't dig holes," she said. "They are nocturnal and during the day will look for a dark and quiet place to sleep."
She said anyone who finds an opossum should leave it alone. "Don't make contact, don't encourage them," she said. They have 50 sharp teeth and can carry diseases. A prehistoric relic, the opossum has been relatively unchanged for 65 million years, she said.

Heckly's organization takes in injured and orphaned native wild animals. It can be reached at (925) 935-1978 or www.wildlife-museum.org.