Pugsley - Short-beaked Echidna

Pugsley is a female short-beaked echidna who was found in October 1996. A couple of residents of the town of Cooma were out walking in nearby bushland when their dog chased after an echidna. The mother got away, however, the dog brought back a small, curled up ball of black hair and dropped it at his owners' feet, just as he would have done with a tennis ball. On closer inspection, the couple discovered that the ‘ball' was a baby echidna that its mother had obviously dropped in attempt to escape the dog.

The couple, although they had never had any experience handraising an animal before, carefully picked up the echidna, took her home and named her Pugsley. They made a home for her out of an old beanie to keep her secure and warm. After a lot of trouble finding out what echidnas eat, the couple called Taronga Zoo and were advised to feed Pugsley finely blended meat mixed with olive oil and egg. Consequently, Pugsley started putting on weight and did very well.

Pugsley was taken for walks in the bush and would curl up with the family dog who protected her like a pup. She was happy and healthy but had begun to cause a problem in the house by scratching and digging. After about eight months the couple gave Pugsley to Taronga Zoo where she is now cared for at the Education Centre and she lives with four other hand raised Short-Beaked Echidnas.