During Spring, echidnas become more active. Often, we receive calls regarding echidnas that have ‘dug’ themselves in at unusual locations and won’t move on. This is the echidnas defence mechanism and if it’s uninjured and in no immediate danger, it’s best to move away and wait for the animal to move on when it feels safe again.
NEVER RELOCATE AN ECHIDNA – Echidnas have a type of inbuilt GPS that allows them to get to and from their burrows via scent trails – if we relocate them away from their trails they are unable to get back to their babies in the burrow. If you contain a sick or injured echidna, it is very important to record exactly where the echidna was found so that we can return it once rehabilitated. Yes, we mean latitude and longitude!
If you hit an echidna or encounter a live echidna on the road, it MUST be taken to a veterinary clinic and X-rayed. It is impossible to examine these animals properly without X-ray as you cannot feel broken bones as in other animals. If you can’t get the animal to the vet, call our hotline and one of our volunteers will help you transport it.
Please also check the surrounding area for young as very young echidnas can easily be dislodged from the flap like pouch of the mother on impact with a vehicle.
If you do have to transport an echidna:
• NEVER use a wire cage – this will damage their beak irreversibly
• Never leave an echidna loose in your car or house! They are incredible escape artists and at any place where they can find a point of leverage, they will use their claws to break open their container.
• Echidnas cannot tolerate temperatures above 30 degrees