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  • Writer's pictureMagnetic Community News

Echidnas on the move

PIctured above: Injured echina. Photo courtesy Mike Lisle

Darrie Lisle

As development continues to grow, echidnas are frequently being seen in public places and yards. With breeding season upon us and echidnas presently on the move calls have been received from concerned residents, business owners/workers, and visitors.

This year so far we have had two rescues from public places, one call from Sealink as the echidna was out on their pontoon and one from Peppers as an echidna walked into their lobby, yet most calls are centred around people finding echidnas on their property, front and back yards or on the road. Most questions involve:

What do you do if you find an echidna on your property?

Keep dogs and cats away. Please keep you animals inside and inform your neighbours, especially if they have animals, that an echidna is passing through.

Do not try to move it. When the echidna feels threatened, as a defence they will curl in a ball or dig in deeper to the ground surface. If left alone they will move on once they are feeling safe. This may take a few hours.

What do you do if you find an echidna on the road?

Slow down and let it pass. If you can pull over do so directing other drivers to slow and avoid the echidna.

Do not approach the echidna. Again, if they feel threatened they may dig in and not move off the road (They can adhere themselves to many various surfaces). Even moving them to the other side of the road can disorient an echidna.

If the echidna is found to have an injury it must come into care. It very hard to physically identify fractures in echidnas and X-Rays are often needed.

When you see an echidna you may see the front feet positioned forward and the back feet positioned backward. That is natural, not an injury. It appears this physical arrangement gives the echidna the ability to dig straight downwards.

Two most important factors when you are involved with an echidna:

Never use a shovel. This can injure the echidna.

Do not overheat. Echidnas cannot tolerate a temperature above 30 degrees.

Wallaby Refuge on Magnetic Island continues to be the Refuge for all orphaned wallaby joeys 24/7 and is available for echidna calls.

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