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Zoos SA announces baby echidna’s arrival on Vet Nurse Day
The puggle, found at Callington and taken to Monarto Safari Park, was named Kathari, which means “prickle” in Ngarrindjeri.
Stop everything – there’s a new baby on board.
Zoos SA have announced the arrival of an eight-week-old short-beaked echidna, Kathari.
Kathari was found by the owners of a property at Callington.
They discovered its mother was deceased and then brought the baby to Monarto Safari Park.
It weighed just 155 grams upon arrival, but Zoos SA veterinary nurse and hospital manager Di Hakof said the little one has been going from strength to strength, with its eyes now open and tiny spikes emerging on its back.
“Kathari now weighs 312 grams and we have started to increase feeds, which Kathari loves – often falling asleep with a full tummy of milk,” she said.
“We don’t know its sex yet, but there is certainly an amazing little personality developing.
Acting curator of Adelaide Zoo Deb Barry said it was fitting to reveal the little addition on Vet Nurse Day.
“Kathari is doing so well and that is really a testament to Di and the team’s dedication,” she said.
“Our vet nurses are an incredible force working behind the scenes not only at our sites but also on the ground in situations like this where native animals need our help.
“Vet Nurse Day is a fantastic way to acknowledge their role as well as being a great opportunity to say thank you for all they do.”
Ms Hakof said it had been a pleasure looking after Kathari.
“It has been such an amazing journey working with Kathari … I’m very thankful to work with such an amazing team of nurses that give not only Kathari, but all the animals here at Zoos SA, such amazing care,” she said.
Along with platypus, echidna are the world’s only monotremes: that is, egg-laying mammals.
When reproducing, a female echidna lays a single, soft-shelled, leathery egg and then deposits it in her pouch.
Ten days later, the baby echidna – known as a puggle – hatches, and is carried around in mum’s pouch for about two months, feeding on her milk.
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