RARE pictures have emerged of an echidna swimming across the Brunswick River just hours after 1065 paddlers took to the water for the annual Mullum2Bruns paddle.
Lorraine Freeden from Byron Bay Eco Cruises and Kayaks said there was a lot of excitement on the Sunset cruise when skipper Gavin spotted the iconic and shy Australian marsupial.
“We were just coming past on our boat and the skipper saw something moving in the water and as we got closer we saw the little spikes and saw it was an echidna,” she said.
“We pulled up the boat… and just watched it swimming across.”
Ms Freeden said it was fascinating to watch the echidna use his snout as a type of snorkel, lifting it out of the water every three or four strokes.
“It swam the width of the river and then shook itself off on the bank and scrambled up the mangroves,” she said.
The echidna was spotted about 2-3km from the Brunswick harbour, heading towards Mullumbimby, on Sunday May 22 at about 3.30pm.
Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service says echidnas are surprisingly good swimmers, paddling with only the snout and a few spines showing.
They have been seen to cross wide beaches, to swim and groom themselves in the sea.
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