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Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Echidna rescued from the main street of Robertson

Even sleepy Robertson is not used to having an Echidna walking along the main street, outside St John's Church of England.Today the CTC was having a small "car boot sale". As I was preparing to leave, I suddenly was confronted by an Echidna walking down the edge of the road. It had come out from the grounds of the Church of England, and was crossing the driveway from the CTC building.

I ran to get assistance, and Peter and Jane and Monica came out and we managed to secure the Echidna. Here you can see Peter carrying it (as carefully as possible) for not only are the long spines quite sharp, its has huge claws, and the front legs are extremely powerful (its their front legs which do most of their digging and burrowing activities).
We relocated it to the scrub along the edge of Caalang Creek, at the back of Hampden Park. It immediately sought to bury itself in the deep soft soil there. I went back to check it a few minutes later, it had safely moved to a new spot (somewhere). With a steep slope close to the creek, and lots of dense cover available there, the Echidna will at least be safe from vehicles, and also, hopefully from dogs.

I was thrilled, but surprised to see this healthy looking Echidna in the main street of Robertson. On a busy Sunday afternoon, Hoddle Street, Robertson (the Illawarra Highway) is no place for an Echidna.

The edge of Caalang Creek, in Hampden Park, is close enough to where I found it, for it to find its way home, safely, if that is what it feels compelled to do. For who knows what instincts power the mind of an Echidna? Perhaps it was feeling the urges of Springtime?
I do know that Echidnas are stubborn little creatures, determined to do what they want to do. Let's wish this healthy little guy all the best.

By the way, Peter was relieved that the Echidna did not relieve itself on him, while he was carrying it in his lap, while I was driving them both to the back of Hampden Park. I cannot imagine how bad Echidna-wee might smell, with all those ants and termites they eat.

4 comments:

Gaye from the Hunter said...

hi Denis,

what an uplifting story !!

I saw a woman stop her vehicle in the main street of a Hunter Valley town recently and get out, stop the traffic, and shoo a Bearded Dragon Lizard off the road towards a safer spot. It was a heartening scene.

I also escorted another Long-necked Turtle across our rural road yesterday. The love-lorn turtles would do better to take the shortest route across the road instead of jay-walking.

But alas, yesterday I also saw a roadkill echidna, bearded dragon and two turtles in the short distance to town. So it is indeed wonderful to hear of those that are saved. I have never seen a live echidna in my surrounds here.

Cheers,
Gaye

Anni said...

I can't believe I just missed this!!

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Anni,
There is no justice in the timing of this event!
You were doing such a great job in the cafe, you deserved an Echidna-sighting.
Ah, well, you have at least heard and seen the photos, via the blog! But its not the same, I know.

Denis

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Gaye

It is nice to know that we are not alone, as animal rescuers. As with your tortoises, Echidnas are stubborn little guys, and just want to go where they want to go.

The little fellow I met yesterday thought that a fence had been put in its path (unreasonably). In terms of their "ownership" of the land since the days when the real estate was all part of Gondwana, they're right!

Its shaping up like a great spring, and in your area, with all that rain, everything is obviously full of energy. So, unfortunately, we must expect some higher than average road kills. Lets hope that the remaining ones have a good season, to replace the ones we lose.

Still it warms one's heart to hear stories of "wildlife shepherding" like those you tell us of. I think it is great that people do that.

In this area, I believe some people deliberately run Wombats down, or at least, refuse to avoid them. But not everybody does that. In years to come, we will miss them, when their numbers shrink.

Cheers

Denis