WILD RIDE: An echidna in the care of the Northern Rivers Wildlife Carers after a 10km wild ride in an engine bay.
WILD RIDE: An echidna in the care of the Northern Rivers Wildlife Carers after a 10km wild ride in an engine bay.

Lucky echidna suffers minor injuries after a wild ride

AN echidna in the care of the Northern Rivers Wildlife Carers is lucky to have escaped with its life after hitching a ride in a car from Lennox Head to East Ballina.

The echidna survived a terrorising 10km car ride after mistakenly climbing up into the vehicle’s engine bay.

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Lennox Head resident Claire Sowden got the surprise of her life after leaving the house with her husband for their wedding anniversary lunch to soon find a couple of women alerting them that an echidna was under their car.

The couple had checked under the car before they left but didn’t see anything so proceeded to drive to East Ballina.

“My heart dropped,” Mrs Sowden said.

“I got down on the ground for a look and could see him, assuming it was a him, under the engine.

“I had a blanket in the boot and some gardening gloves so I got back down and just started talking to him, and after a while it just came over to me — a few sniffs and it crawled into the blanket.

“I just happened to have a plastic basket in my boot and called out to my husband to take it to the River St Ballina vet.

“We have a Corolla, and I was surprised when Chrissy (Clay from Northern Rivers Wildlife Carers) told me they are very agile and can crawl into many things,”

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The echidna was later taken to the Keen Street Vet in Lismore for a thorough check-up.

“The wonderful team at Keen Street Vets in Lismore assessed the echidna and determined the only injuries he had were some burnt and melted spines, which is just incredible,’ Ms Clay said.

The echidna is set to make a full recovery and will be returned to the wild.

“We were so relieved to hear he had only had superficial damage. They said the little guy is completely intact, and a little bit tubby,” Ms Sowden said.

“Really happy the echidna is OK, and will be released and then can go and do echidna things.”

Northern Rivers Wildlife Carers is asking people to be aware that echidnas are in their breeding season and will be active over the coming months.

The Northern Rivers Wildlife Carers encourage people to ring their 24-hour rescue hotline, 6628 1866, if they find an injured echidna.

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