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Abandoned baby echidna puggle will make your heart melt

Abandoned baby echidna puggle will make your heart melt

A baby puggle found abandoned on a popular walking track in the Hunter region of New South Wales,has been given a second chance at life.

Found by locals at a walking track at Anna Bay, the little puggle was only 30 days old when it was brought in to the care of keepers at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo.

The tiny creature is bald and as yet has no spine. Zoo keepers believe the little newborn echidna most probably fell out of his mother’s pouch.

‘It’s quite possible it fell out of it’s Mum’s pouch. It still would have been in Mum’s pouch at that time. When they get a bit older – 10 to 15 days older – they are left in a burrow,’ the Taronga Zoo Wildlife Hospital Supervisor explained.

‘Mum only comes back then every few days to feed the puggle. At the moment I only have to feed this one every two days.’

The adorable puggle is pictured suckling milk out of the palm of the Wildlife Hospital Supervisor’s hand, in a video released by the zoo. Mother echidnas do not have any teats only milk patches which the baby puggle would drink from.

‘At the moment I’m keeping it in a small esky just to keep it at the right temperature. They actually have a very low temperature of 25-27 degrees. The esky is really good at keeping that constant temperature,’ the Wildlife Hospital Supervisor said.

According to experts, it will take a few months before the puggle will start to resemble an echidna, as they normally don’t emerge from their burrow for six to sevens months at least.

‘It still needs a lot of tender loving care for the next few months yet,’ she said.

Being monotremes, echidnas produce young from eggs which are hatched outside their body, in the same way as birds and most reptiles do.

Although they begin to eat termites and ants soon after leaving the pouch, young echidnas are often not fully weaned until they are several months old.

It is believed echidnas evolved between 20 and 50 million years ago, descending from a platypus-like creatures. While this ancestor was aquatic, but echidnas adapted to life on land.

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