Baby echidna saved from cer­tain death

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - AN­GELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

ONE brave echidna is ready to be re­leased back into the wild af­ter re­cently be­ing dis­cov­ered barely alive near Spring Creek in Mowbray.

The spiky mam­mal was found one morn­ing when Jenny Ed­mond­son was about to go to work and spot­ted it wan­der­ing up her Mowbray drive­way.

“We’ve lived there for 10 years and this is the first one I’ve seen, we are near a wooded area next to Spring Creek,” she said.

“I’ve never seen one on the plot be­fore, I got up close and it didn’t no­tice and he didn’t seem par­tic­u­larly healthy,” she said.

“He hid un­der the car for a while and it took a while to ex­tract him and I bun­dled it into a box and took it to the habi­tat.”

The Wildlife Habi­tat in Port Dou­glas then ad­mit­ted the pa­tient and as­sis­tant man­ager Claire An­der­son said the lit­tle echidna is at an age where it was weaned from its mum.

“We don’t come across young echid­nas very of­ten and I would put it close to nine to 10 months old based on its weight,” she said.

“It’s at a stage where it has been weaned from its mum and is try­ing to sur­vive for it­self - it’s a pretty tough time learn­ing to live by them­selves.”

The lit­tle echidna did not do so well and has been nursed back to health from near death as the wildlife car­ers treated its wounds.

“It was in a pretty bad way and took a lot of treat­ment to heal the wounds with an­ti­sep­tic,” Claire said.

“The wound seemed to be a com­bi­na­tion of an at­tack from a wild an­i­mal of some de­scrip­tion and ev­i­dence of tick bites that got in­fected.

“It has adapted in­cred­i­bly well, it’s al­most like wild an­i­mals re­alise you’re try­ing to help them and it’s do­ing re­ally well.

“We try to han­dle it as lit­tle as pos­si­ble be­cause we don’t want them to be­come hu­man­ised and we are look­ing to re­lease it next week back in Mowbray.”

The Wildlife Habi­tat treat on av­er­age 400 res­cued, in­jured, or­phaned or sick an­i­mals a year of all shapes and sizes and re­turn all wild an­i­mals to the ar­eas where they were found if it is safe.

If you come across an an­i­mal in need of res­cue con­tact DERM on 13000 AN­I­MAL or Far North Queens­land wildlife res­cue on 4053 4467.

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