One of the echidnas rescued at Howard recently.
One of the echidnas rescued at Howard recently.

What to do if you find this Aussie icon injured

A WILDLIFE rescue group has shared tips on how to help echidnas after two were rescued from the Howard area recently.

The two short-beaked echidnas were given a health check and released back into the wild.

The first, a female, came into care quite lethargic and with a bloody beak after being found in a backyard with dogs harassing her, Natalie Richardson from from Wildlife Rescue Fraser Coast said.

The echidna was found to have bruising and soft tissue trauma to her beak and body, but no fractures.

She spent a couple of weeks in care before being released back into the wild.

A male echidna was found close to the road, buried along a fence line during the day.

He didn't move for several hours, sparking concern.

The echidna had a check up and was found to be in good health.

He was returned to Howard within a couple of days of being rescued.

Ms Richardson aid while their quills may deter some dogs, attacks did happen.

She said if an echidna found its way into a backyard with dogs, owners should keep their pets well away and it would generally move on.

While echidnas were mostly active at night, they sometimes wandered during the day, Ms Richardson said.

She said people should never try to dig an echidna out of the ground because it was easy to injure the animal by doing so.

People should always call for advice, Ms Richardson said.

It could be tricky to find injuries on echidnas due to their multitude of spines and their "balling" behaviour, in which they curl up tightly for self-protection.

If an echidna is found on or near a road, it is recommended they have a health check for fractures and internal injuries.

If there is an interaction with a dog, a health check should also be performed.

Heat or warmth should not be provided to echidnas or their babies, known as puggles.

The animals are unique in their temperature requirements, unlike other mammals.

If you find an echidna in need of care, phone Wildlife Rescue Fraser Coast on 4121 3146.



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