In cute animal news, Muggles the puggle, a baby echidna, was found orphaned in the Australian outback and was rescued by a passer-by who brought Muggles to a vet. According to Metro.co.uk the echidna puggle began its four-day journey across Australia, including two flights of thousands of miles, to his current resting place in Queensland, Australia. The echidna puggle will be taken care of before being released into the wild.
“Puggles are particularly difficult to look after, as they have different requirements to most other orphaned mammals,” said Rehabilitation Coordinator Vicky Toomey of the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital. “We don’t keep them in the same manner as other marsupials as they naturally have quite a low body temperature, and they also feed infrequently due to long digestion times.”
This means that Muggles the echidna puggle will require special hands-on treatment for six months. In the same way that baby dogs are called puppies, the baby echidnae are called “puggles.” The echidna puggle got separated from its mother somehow. Like the marsupial kangaroo and koala bear, echidnae are monotremes and have pouches. So it is most likely that poor little Muggles fell from the mother’s pouch.
“Puggles of this size can take up to ten days to adjust to hand-raising and consume enough food to put on weight,” she added. “The blue tinge to Muggles is from the spines and fur starting to emerge from under the skin; in two weeks it will be a very different looking puggle. It’s just the beginning for little Muggles, with echidnas being known to live up to 49 years in the wild.”
In a similar story, an echidna puggle named Beau was rescued from the Australian Outback and now resides in the Taronga Wildlife Hospital: