Echidna Season

Animals Rescue Wildlife Posted May 31, 2021
It’s echidna season again and these spiky little natives are out in force, meaning our rescue team is getting their hands full – and not for the first time!

We’ve had many echidna recues over the past month, and they are on the rise – here’s just a few.

Echidna rescue

Backyard Blitz

This echidna was found in the middle of Oxley in someone’s backyard, the owner was alerted to their dogs’ interest in the spikey visitor. Nobody got hurt in this case – the echidna was stuck between a fence and a shed. So much so, our Rescue Officer had to sedate him to get him out! Thankfully, there was nothing wrong with the echidna and after a vet check at our RSPCA Wildlife Hospital, he was able to be released the next day! A timely reminder to keep an eye out for our emerging echidnas.

Echidna rescue

An Educated Echidna

This echidna had wedged himself into a gutter near Griffith University at Nathan. It appeared that the echidna wasn’t able to get itself out, and this gutter definitely wasn't the safest of places to burrow...

Rescue Officer Amy and her assistant were able to free the echidna from his prickly predicament and safely release him in nearby bushland.

Echidna stuck

Puggle Trouble

In another rescue, a young echidna – known as puggle – was found along a walking trail at Mt Nebo. The puggle was brought into our RSPCA Wildlife Hospital in Wacol with a visible injury to its left eye.


It was discovered that he had myiasis in his left eye, which is difficult to assess. Myiasis is the parasitic infestation of the body of a live animal by fly larvae (maggots) which grow inside the host while feeding on its tissue.

Our wildlife vets couldn’t perform surgery to remove his eye until this little one’s infection was under control. Wildlife Vet Tim checked the puggle regularly in preparation for surgery, but it was a waiting game to ensure the swelling around his eye reduced first.

Vet Tim assessing the little puggle

Vet Tim assessing the little puggle

A week went by and Wildlife Veterinarian Karina noticed that this little puggle was able to open his eye, but unfortunately it looked like it was about to rupture. So, the decision was made to urgently surgically remove his eye.


Vet Karina says, “It’s risky to perform surgery on echidnas as you can't put a breathing tube down their throat. If he wasn’t breathing well it would’ve made it hard.”

puggle surgery

Being so small, it was a risky operation for this little echidna, but thankfully the delicate operation was a success!

Vet Nurse Sophia assisted throughout the entire time the tiny puggle was in care. “I have a sweet spot for echidnas. I used to help with hand rearing them,” Sophia said.

Vet nurse Sophia monitoring the echidna post-surgery

This little echidna has since been recovering well after surgery and has been sent for ongoing care with Wildcare.  Once fully recovered from surgery, he’ll be placed into the Queensland Species Management Program (QSMP). QSMP is a government initiative where select animals that are not able to be released into the wild can remain in care indefinitely.

The RSPCA Wildlife Hospital sees quite a lot of Echidna trauma cases, as it is quite common for them to get hit by cars. But our vets also see a lot of echidna visitors this time of year that are young and not fattened up for winter yet, so arrive weak and skinny. But in a lot of cases, echidnas are on the move and there are a lot of misadventures they encounter along the way. Usually in these situations they can be safely released back to the wild after a quick check-up in our Wildlife Hospital.

If you encounter an echidna in need of rescue, or any other injured or sick animal, contact our 24/7 Animal Emergency Hotline (1300 ANIMAL).

Sam Morris
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