Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Echidnas just want a mate – aren’t looking for booze

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Echidna front page
Fame spike: Last week’s RRI front page featured Bully on the loose in the BWS bottleshop.

Bully the echidna was locked in Kyogle’s BWS overnight and featured on [Richmond River Independent’s] front page last week.

His drunken antics garnered much media attention. His bottleshop foray was on ABC Radio North Coast, he featured as a quiz question on Radio National, he was on the Daily Mail Online and his story was told by Odette Nettleton from Kyogle on Weekend Today on Channel Nine.

Wires released him into the wild before he became famous. Then last Friday, a pal of Bully’s tried to enter the bottleshop at Ritchies IGA in Kyogle.

Despite a Facebook Page set up for the echidnas – Alcoholic Echidnas Anonymous, one reason for the flurry of bottleshop visits could lie not in the search for chocolate Baileys but attraction to the automatic door sensors.

Echidnas can detect food by smell or by the electrical impulse of its potential dinner prey.

Wires didn’t know whether the sensors on the automatic doors at the bottleshops attracted the echidnas and said the reason the echidnas were out and about was because it was breeding season.

There have been 100 calls about echidnas since May.

The echidnas are looking for a mate, Wires said, and most of the ones spotted around Kyogle are likely to be males.

“They join the echidna train where males follow a female for up to six weeks until she chooses one of them.”

Things should quieten down echidna-wise in the next month.

Wires advised drivers to be extra vigilant in the coming months and if an echidna was hit by a car to check the echidna’s pouch for puggles (baby echidnas) and phone Wires immediately.

If you see an echidna or other animal in distress call Wires on 1300 094 737.

Kyogle’s BWS has donated $1000 to Wires.

Richmond River Independent 28 July 2021

This article appeared in the Richmond River Independent, 28 July 2021.

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