Melbourne Yamaha MT-10 rider and animal lover Scott has displayed the passion riders have for our environment in a video where he rescues an echidna from becoming roadkill.
“I was on my way home from Reefton and was riding along Gembrook Rd when I noticed the little guy just sitting there in the middle of the lane,” says Scott who posted his video on his YouTube channel, SixFive Moto.
“I’d never seen an echidna face to face before so I had no idea how sharp his spines actually were.
“I love animals so anytime I see one in a bad situation I will always stop.”
Check out his video.
Echidnas are protected throughout Australia and Wildlife Rescue recommends that you leave it where it is unless it’s in danger such as in this situation.
They suggest approaching the animal from behind as Scott did.
“Attempt to slip one or both hands under the shoulders and legs, then relax,” they suggest.
“When the echidna relaxes, gradually push further under the soft underbelly.”
They recommend you never pull, lift or hold echidnas by their hind feet or extract them with tools as this can injure the animal.
So what about injuring the rescuing rider?
The spines are actually tough hairs.
When the animal is approached, they roll up into a ball with the sharp spines radiating out.
The spines aren’t poisonous, but they can still cause injury, so leather gloves or a jacket are useful in picking them up.
On soft ground they will dig in and can be quite difficult to move, so leave them unless they are in danger.
Even on a hard surface such as this road, a strong echidna is quite difficult to move.
If you find an echidna that has been hit by a car:
- Ring your local wildlife organisation immediately who will find a wildlife volunteer to attend.
- Stay with the echidna and keep an eye on it until the volunteer arrives.
- If you are confident to do so, you can pick the echidna up and place it in a secure, ventilated container.
- Echidnas must be kept cool. In hot weather, put a damp towel over the animal and place it in a cool spot.