The life of a baby Echidna orphaned after the death of her mother, has been saved by Wee Waa’s Elisha Proctor.
“Few people have seen a baby Echidna, sometimes called a spiny anteater, and probably even fewer know they are called a ‘puggle’,” Elisha said.
“My husband Robert found the mother Echidna dead on the farm he was working on near Burren Junction and saw her baby moving.
“He brought it home.
“People know that I will try and save these animals.
“We called the baby ‘Penny the puggle.’
“Another district resident recently brought me a baby Shingleback lizard which he saved when the birds were attacking it. I reared it until it could be released back into the wild.
“When Robert came home with the puggle I thought ‘my god, what’s he got this time. And it was a tiny echidna.
“She was just a baby, no spikes, just soft skin,” said Elisha. “Her eyes weren’t open.
‘She fitted in the palm of my hand. “When we first got her I rang the vet and the Dubbo Zoo told us what to feed her and she thrived.
“I fed her a special formula which I mixed up, 60 mls at a time and that lasted her all day and part of the next day.”
As an Echidna, Penny has a lineage stretching back some ‘20 to 50 million years’ apparently, and is one of Australia’s extraordinary egg laying mammals, like the platypus.