A rare short-beaked echidna puggle was unveiled by Sydney’s Taronga Zoo on Friday, born to mum Gunyi at its breeding facility almost 7 months ago.
The zoo said the puggle, the 10th born at the Sydney zoo, is yet to be named as its gender has not been identified. At this stage, it is just starting to look like a small echidna, also known as spiny anteaters.
The Taronga Conservation Society Australia, which runs the zoo, said echidnas, one of only 2 egg-laying mammals, are hard to breed in a zoo as they have complex courtship rituals with males only needed at very specific times.
It is rare sighting to spot newborn echidna puggles as they spend the first few months of their lives in a deep burrow made by their mothers. The zoo said this one will go on display with the rest of the zoo’s echidnas in a few months’ time.
“The little puggle is still quite shy and is spending most of its time learning natural echidna behaviors like digging and foraging,” the zoo’s spokeswoman said.