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MONOTREMES   >>   ECHIDNA RESCUE INFORMATION

Common questions asked about injured echidnas:

Should injured or sick echidnas be kept warm?
NO. Echidnas have a lower body temperature than other mammals and should not be placed on heating pads, hot water bottles or under heat lamps where they cannot choose cooler temperatures.

What do you with a found puggle or baby echidna?
Keep it cool and do not try to feed it. Contact your local Animal Rescue group. If they are not sure about procedures, contact Dr. Peggy at: echidna@kin.net.au .

Do rescued echidnas make good pets?
NO. Echidinas are nomadic, hate confinement and love to roam. They feed on many different types of insects and their diet changes depending on the time on year. Even if an echidna did not need a large area (some use over 200 acres!), it would not be possible to feed them a natural diet. Echidnas are a protected native species and as such require special permits even to be rescued.

Do you try to feed an injured adult echidna?
An echidna brought into a captive situation may refuse to eat for many days. Always provide water and release the animal as soon as possible. Often injured echidnas, especially road accidents are only traumatized. If they kept overnight and found moving around and trying to 'escape' the next day, it is better to release them.

What do you feed a young?
There are a number of different commercial formulas available for hand rearing young echidnas. Get advise from your local Animal Rescue group or Dr. Peggy at: echidna@kin.net.au .

How often do you feed a puggle?
In the wild, a female echidna comes back to the burrow only once every 5 to 6 days. When hand rearing a burrow young, it is best to do so as natural as possible.

Where should a hand reared echidna be released?
If at all possible, it is best to release a weaned echidna at the site of its nursery burrow. We know that adult echidnas have a good 'homing' and orientation sense. How the young learn this, we do not yet know. We have observed that young make exploratory trips away from the burrow before establishing their own home ranges. There are also reports of hand reared echidnas returning to their surrogate 'home' after being taken to another area and released.

Where should a rescued echidna be released?
Always return an animal as close to where it was found as possible. If the rescued animal is a nursing mother her homing instincts will cause her to try and return to her home range. There is documented evidence of an echidna traveling over 35 km back to its home range.

Should echidnas be moved to a "safer" habitat?
NO. If an echidna is seen in your back yard in the country or in town, it knows where it is. Left alone and free of hassles, such as dogs and cats, an echidna will move on when it is ready! Remember, an echidna home range may be as large as 100 hectare!

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