A mammoth effort for a tiny puggle found orphaned near Lightning Ridge, New South Wales, last week has culminated in its safe arrival at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital.
The baby echidna, named Muggles, was found sitting on a rock by the side of the road and taken to a local doctor before going to a vet; the first leg of a 4-day long journey that included two plane flights, hundreds of driven kilometres, and countless hours on the phone arranging transport.
Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital's senior nurse and rehabilitation coordinator, Vicky Toomey said Muggles will require specialised care for the next six months before being released back into the wild. "Puggles are particularly difficult to look after, as they have different requirements to most other orphaned mammals," Vicky said.
The blue tinge to Muggles is from the spines and fur starting to emerge from under the skin; in two weeks it will be a very different looking puggle! It's just the beginning for little Muggles, with echidnas being known to live up to 49 years in the wild.
This month, Bindi and Robert Irwin are encouraging kids to help Muggles, and patients like him, by taking part in the Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors Readathon. The month-long reading frenzy extends until Steve Irwin Day, on November 15. All funds raised will go to saving over 7515 injured, sick and orphaned animals at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital. Visit www.steveirwinday.org/education/readathon/ for more information and to register!
You can also Sponsor the Australia Zoo Rescue Unit, who provide a free service rescuing sick and injured wildlife and getting them the best possible veterinary treatment at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital.