Rescued baby echidna taken to Australia Zoo

echidna rescue puggle
Sugarland Animal Hospital veterinarian Dr Georgia Spencer was on duty when the bare-looking baby echidna, known as a puggle, came in.

It’s not every day a puggle is rescued off the streets of Bundaberg by passionate animal lovers and taken on a 300km journey to safety but that's what happened on Wednesday.

A puggle is the name given to the young of echidna and platypus, both monotremes which are the only egg-laying mammals in the world.

The baby echidna was taken to Sugarland Animal Hospital for assistance.

Veterinarian Dr Georgia Spencer was on duty when the nude-looking baby came in.

“It was dropped into us on Wednesday evening after it was found fully walking around its mum, although it should have still been in the pouch,” Dr Georgia said.

“We couldn’t tell if it was a boy or a girl, but decided it would be a he for now, while we gave him a vet check.

“We found that he had haemorrhages to his feet and nails from being out of the pouch too early and we cleaned them up.”

echidna rescue puggle
A baby echidna known as a puggle was rescued in Bundaberg and transported to Australia Zoo after Sugarland Animal Hospital gave it a health check.

Puggles are all skin and no quills

Dr Georgia said the previous echidna at Sugarland Animal Hospital was about four months ago and it was an adult male, which made the little guy who “was all skin” and no quills a little different to what they were used to.

“They (puggles) don’t actually drink from a teat like most other mammals,” she said.

“The mother has glands in her pouch where the milk leaks from and the puggles lap it up.

“I only learnt this yesterday actually, we are always learning new things here.”

A trip to Australia Zoo for the puggle

After being checked over for injury the young puggle was given to a local carer and it was organised for him to be taken to Australia Zoo, where he will be cared for.

Dr Georgia has been with Sugarland Animal Hospital for the past six months and said she had seen all sorts of native animals during this time.

“A lot of birds, including baby magpies, snakes and different skinks have been brought in,” she said.

“We look over the animals and then have a list of carers we call who come and collect them.”

She encouraged anyone in the community who came across injured wildlife to seek help for them.

“There is no charge to drop off wildlife to us, we do it from the kindness of our hearts,” Dr Georgia said.

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