Baby echidna makes public debut

Piggiebillah the baby echidna.
Piggiebillah the baby echidna. David Stuart

A BABY echidna, known as a puggle, was revealed to the world today but it was not the latest addition to the wildlife sanctuary's echidna breeding program.

The Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Hospital had two puggles this year but the second, being two months old, was too small to leave its mother's pouch.

Piggiebillah, at 137 days old, has no such problem coming out of its enclosure for the first time to greet a media scrum.

Senior mammal keeper Lindy Thomas said Piggiebillah was the 16th echidna to be born in captivity.

"We still don't know too much about their breeding cycle," Ms Thomas said.

Hospital staff said they do not know the sex of Piggiebillah because the reproductive organs are internal and it would require surgery to confirm its gender.

"It's still a bit small for that," she said.

"I'm hoping it's a girl because we only have one captive female and three captive males."

Ms Thomas said it would be a few months before Piggiebillah would be ready for the public.

Piggiebillah father, Ejac, came to the see what all the fuss was about and at 5.5kg was enormous compared to the 630g puggle.

Topics:  currumbin wildlife sanctuary echidnas

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