Den (dewhitton) wrote,

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Echidna Rescue

So there's an echidna on his back in the middle of the road. This is usually bad news.

I stopped the car for a closer look, just in case it was still a bit alive and needed that little extra push to stop the pain. He looked at me as he waved his legs about like a spiney tortoise, then curled into a ball.This puzzled me. An echidna with internal injuries can't to this because they're in too much pain, and yet a healthy echidna wouldn't be found stuck on its back in the middle of the road.

I picked him up (love those thick welder's gloves) and put him in a rescue box so I could examine him. He had a few broken spines (which are actually modified hairs and not quills) but they were randomly broken all over his back. Usually a road victim has a band 1 tyre wide of broken spines across their body. He had a bad scrape on his nose, but the blood was coming from that and not from inside his nose. One leg was being held at a funny angle. He let fly with a urine spray that caught my arm, and then ne crapped into the box. It reeked, but at least everything at that end was working properly.

Time to see the zoovets!

I found them eating lunch in their little private outdoor lunch-eating area, under the trees in the non-public end of the zoo. They watched me approach with a white box and a cloud of flies attracted by the smell. The animal in the box whistled. "I bet you've got a cranky echidna," said Tim The Vet. He was right. As soon as I opened the lid, the animal was up and out, and running on his crap-covered feet toward Jo The Vet's hot chips.Tim caught him and saved the chips.

It looks like the animal was run over by a car, but not actually hit. The vehicles sump may have clipped his back spines and sent him tumbling along the road, which caused the scrapes and broken spines. X-rays will show how bad he is internally, but he didn't seem to be in pain.They'll keep him there for a while and release him. I don't know where that will be because the zoo has a near infestation of echidnas. They've chipped 30 animals and they're still finding un-chipped adults.

Too many egg-laying mammals. Ya gotta love this country.

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