Nose-rings are not for echidnas!

This couldn't have been very comfy for the poor little thing!

This couldn’t have been very comfy for the poor little thing!

echidna2

The vet staff took great care of the unusual patient

echinda3

The cartilage was not damaged so the echidna can continue gobbling ants with ease

A lucky echidna is recovering after a rather unusual visit to the vet, to have a ring pull removed from its snout. We had received a few calls alerting us that the animal was wandering the gardens with the ring, from a soft drink can, stuck on its nose – but they were all after the event and we never found the creature. After a few disappointments staff were on the lookout, and promised that next time anyone saw it they would call the rangers straight away.

I got the call just as I was due to drive the Governor-General’s wife, Lady Cosgrove, out of the Gardens after an official opening. Our Director of National Parks Sally Barnes took over that task while I rushed off to find the echidna!

This time we made it before it had shuffled away, and soon popped it into a basket where we got a better look at its snout. The ring was beginning to cut into the echidna’s skin and we whisked it off to the vet. The echidna was lucky – an x-ray showed the ring-pull hadn’t damaged any cartilage and it was removed without too much difficulty.

The prickly patient recovered with an RSPCA carer and has now been released back into the wild. We can’t be sure if the echidna got into a bin, or whether the ring-pull had been dropped, but it’s a good reminder to make sure things are disposed of carefully.

We’re glad it can return to guzzling ants without any impediments!

Dan, Ranger, Australian National Botanic Gardens

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