A tiny, short-beaked echidna puggle found abandoned at a farming property in Weja, New South Wales, was thriving under the care of staff at Sydney’s Taronga Wildlife Hospital on November 5.
Taronga Veterinary Nurse Liz McConnell became the puggle’s surrogate mother and took the young echidna home each night in a makeshift burrow fashioned from a climate-controlled food carrier.
“A puggle of this age would normally be in a burrow where it is relatively cool, probably no more than 23 degrees,” McConnell said. The carrier is equipped with a thermometer and filled with dirt, leaf litter and soft towels.
The Zoo said the animal’s eyes hadn’t fully opened when it arrived three weeks earlier. After a full check-up, the hospital determined the animal was relatively healthy “with just a few scabs on its tail” and was estimated to be around 70 days old.
The puggle was to remain under the care of McConnell until it was ready to be weaned, at around seven months old, and would stay at the Taronga Wildlife Hospital until it was strong enough to return home to Weja. Credit: Harrison Vincent/Taronga Zoo via Storyful