It’s not every day that you have a monotreme in the order of egg-laying mammals sticking a quill out for a lift, but recently a local driver got a shock when an echidna hitched a ride.
The echidna survived a 10km car ride after mistakenly climbing up into the vehicle’s engine at Lennox Head.
Echidna rehabilitator Chrisy Clay said she is not sure what made the animal take shelter inside the car, but echidnas are good climbers and incredibly strong.
‘The driver had seen the echidna earlier but when they checked around the car a few hours later and couldn’t see it, they thought the echidna had moved on.’
It was only when the driver stopped that the echidna was seen emerging from underneath the vehicle with burnt spines.
‘The wonderful team at Keen St Vets in Lismore assessed the echidna and determined the only injuries he had were some burnt and melted spines which is just incredible’, said Chrisy.
The echidna is set to make a full recovery and will be returned to the wild.
Echidna’s are on the move
Echidnas are on the move and the Northern Rivers Wildlife Carers are asking people to be aware that they will be active over the coming months. The cooler weather heralds the start of the echidna breeding season when they will be at their busiest, searching for a mate and raising their young.
Echidnas are particularly at risk of being hit by cars when trying to cross busy roads.
The Northern Rivers Wildlife Carers encourage people to ring their 24-hour rescue hotline, 6628 1866, if they find an injured echidna.
People are asked to store the rescue hotline number in their mobile phone for easy reference.