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Taronga Zoo Sydney Rescues Echidna After 4m Drop

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: October 20, 2020 12:05 pm

taronga zoo echidna

An echidna puggle is being cared for at Taronga Zoo Sydney

Photo Credit: Taronga Zoo Sydney

Staff at Taronga Zoo are raising an echidna puggle (baby) which was brought to their wildlife hospital after an interesting turn of events which saw it needing specialist care.

The puggle was found by a member of the public who saw it drop 4m (13.2ft) out of a tree where a raven and magpie were perched. It had sustained a range of scratches and lacerations leading vets to believe it was taken from its burrow by the birds of prey and then dropped after proving an unsuccessful meal.

The puggle was brought to the Taronga Zoo Wildlife hospital from the Central Coast where it was found. There it was assessed by vets and vet nurses including x-rays, blood tests and a thorough look over, and thankfully deemed to be in surprisingly good health considering its ordeal.

taronga zoo echidna

An echidna puggle is being cared for at Taronga Zoo Sydney

Photo Credit: Taronga Zoo Sydney

Senior Keeper Sarah Male has taken on the responsibility of raising the puggle. This includes feeding the puggle every second day with a specially formulated milk. This is lapped off her hand instead of drunk from a bottle as echidnas secrete milk on their skin which the puggle then drinks. After its feed the puggle receives a bath before returning to its makeshift burrow to sleep for the next 48 hours.

Male said, “Despite its ordeal, this little puggle doing so well. Since arriving at the hospital its lacerations have almost completely healed, it’s putting on weight and is also starting to grow a thin layer of fur all of which are all promising signs.”

“While the puggle is improving every day, it is still very young and in the wild would still be dependent on mum, so will require ongoing care for the next few months. I’ve hand-raised lots of animals throughout the years at Taronga but such a young echidna puggle is a new experience for me.”

taronga zoo echidna

An echidna puggle is being cared for at Taronga Zoo Sydney

Photo Credit: Taronga Zoo Sydney

— AD —

Echidnas are one of the world’s two monotreme species. These unique mammals are similar to marsupials but lay eggs. While this echidna may have come in due to some unique circumstances echidnas are not an uncommon sight at the wildlife hospital. Most present there after being attacked by domestic pets or being hit by cars.

The Taronga Wildlife Hospital operates year round and treats 1,400 native animals across its two properties in Sydney and at Dubbo.

taronga zoo echidna

An echidna puggle is being cared for at Taronga Zoo Sydney

Photo Credit: Taronga Zoo Sydney

You can support the work of the wildlife hospital here – Taronga Wildlife Hospital

Learn more about the short beaked echidna Short Beaked Echidna | The Animal Facts

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