A lucky echidna puggle, or baby spiny anteater, survived an attack by birds by falling from a tree on a balcony in Sydney. The people living there brought him to Taronga Zoo, where zookeepers are hand-feeding the baby.
“Unfortunately he was lost from his mum. Some people were just sitting on their balcony one nice afternoon and they heard this thud. They looked down and saw this little guy on the balcony and they’ve looked up into the tree and seen a raven and a magpie there,” says Taronga Zoo Senior Keeper Sarah Male.
The little guy survived a four-meter (13 feet) fall from the tree onto the balcony, somehow escaping becoming supper for the winner of a fight between a raven and a magpie. “This poor little guy landed on his back. He had lots of scratches and peck marks on him and things like that,” Male tells Reuters.
The zoo is taking care of him. “He just started drinking, so we’ve just been feeding him every couple of days. Checking on him, he’s growing really well, he’s putting on weight. Almost all of his little scabs and wounds and stuff that he had on him are all starting to clear up,” Male says about the grey, sharp-nosed puggle who fits in one hand.
“When we did get him, he didn’t have any fur on him, but he’s now starting to get a nice layer of fur. Both of his eyes were closed. So one of his eyes has opened now and the other one will open up quite shortly as well.”
The echidna will remain at the Taronga Zoo Wildlife Hospital until he grows spines and can eat on his own. The zoo said it hasn’t made plans for the animal beyond that.
Echidnas and platypuses are the only two species belonging to the monotreme order of egg-laying mammals. Their young are known as puggles.