After being tragically orphaned on the road between Wellington and Dubbo last November, life was looking very grim for this tiny Echidna puggle. Motherless and only a newborn, it looked as though its life would be over before it could even begin.
Miraculously, it was found by the roadside and sent straight to Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s Wildlife Hospital where a team of vet nurses have saved the day, giving this little one a much-needed helping hand by raising and caring for it as any loving mother would.
Despite only needing to feed once every four days, the little puggle is growing stronger by the day and is now approximately four months old. It is a shy little creature who does not relish having its photo taken, yet has an inordinate amount of love for nap-time.
The little puggle is not only growing in size, but is also just beginning to grow its species’ distinctive spines, proving the old adage that all babies grow up too fast.
It will be able to be weaned in about three to four months’ time and then introduced to solid food. It is extremely rare to see an Echidna puggle let alone raise one, as they live in their mother’s pouch for two to three months before moving into a secluded burrow for up to a year.
In the coming months the Echidna puggle will be transferred to Taronga Zoo to join the Short-beaked Echidna breeding program at the Zoo, but until then its dedicated team of vet nurses continue to delight over its progress.
The future is bright for this prickly little mite.