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Australia Adorable orphaned 10-week-old echidna named Rarity stuns Australians

14:06  19 october  2020
14:06  19 october  2020 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Adorable photograph of a 10 - week - old echidna named Rarity stuns Australia after the puggle lost 10 - week - old puggle (a baby echidna ) left orphaned when a car hit its mother Adult echidnas have tongues up to 15cm long that they use to eat insects

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a close up of an animal: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

An adorable 10-week-old echidna has captured the heart of a nation by poking it's long tongue out in a stunning photograph.

The baby echidna, known as a 'puggle', was orphaned when his mother was hit by a car.

Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital in Beerwah, Queensland, made world-famous by the late Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, has taken in the motherless puggle and named him 'Rarity'.

Rarity the 10-week-old echidna puggle rescued by Australia Zoo sticking his tongue out © Provided by Daily Mail Rarity the 10-week-old echidna puggle rescued by Australia Zoo sticking his tongue out

'We're here to interrupt your scrolling with the cutest patient at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital,' the Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors posted on Facebook with a picture of Rarity sticking his tongue out.

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Zhenbo Gao, 24, admitted to stalking Australia 's native wildlife, capturing lizards, petting possums and chasing koalas before throwing the echidna to its Chinese student, 24, who threw an echidna off a second storey building to see if it would survive before stoning it to death was obsessed with chasing

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The gorgeous photograph had an immediate impact and was liked and shared thousands of times.

'That tongue... he's the cutest little puggle in my world tonight,' on wrote online.

'What an incredible photo - captured the sweet little one's tongue,' another said.

Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors explained why echidnas are such a unique species.

'Like the platypus, echidnas are monotremes, which means they lay eggs instead of giving birth to live young and do not have any teats,' the zoo wrote on Facebook.

'Females will lay a soft-shelled egg into their pouch. The hatchling, known as a puggle, feeds on milk secreted from pores on the female's belly. Aren’t they amazing?'

When hatching, a puggle will open the soft leathery shell of its egg with a special egg-tooth.

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animal on the field: An adult echidna in the wild in Australia (stock image) © Provided by Daily Mail An adult echidna in the wild in Australia (stock image)

They remain in the pouch for up to 55 days until they start to develop spines.

The mother then digs a special nursery burrow and puts her babies in, returning every five days to suckle it until it is seven months old.

ECHIDNA FACTS

- Echidnas are monotremes or egg-laying mammals

- Their spines are made out of hair

- Adult echidnas have a tongue up to 15cm long that they use to eat ants and insect larvae

- In mating season the males form a ‘mating train’ of up to 10 echidnas following a female until she agrees to mate

Source: South Australia Environment Department

The puggles typically stay in the den for up to a year.

Adult echidnas have tongues up to 15cm long that they use to eat ants, worms and insect larvae.

A wonderful video posted to Twitter by ecologist John Martin (shown above) shows an adult echidna digging in the dirt for ants with its snout.

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Western Australian resident, known only as Rex, noticed the furry creatures living in harmony at his Bouvard property last week when he went to check on his pet duck's The heartwarming moment a mother duck takes an orphaned bandicoot under her wing and treats the marsupial as one of her own.

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'The echidnas are named after Echidna, a creature from Greek mythology who was half-woman, half-snake, as the animal was perceived to have qualities of both mammals and reptiles,' he wrote.

Rarity is so tiny he fits into the palm of one hand, but Australia Zoo will raise him safe from predators such as feral cats, foxes, dogs or goannas.

Facebook erupted with wonder at the gorgeous creature in the photo.

'Thank you for rescuing this tiny wonder,' wrote Samantha Stein.

'Wow! Australia has so many animals that we have never heard of here in the USA,' wrote Donna Nalley.

'Hope this little orphan grows up to be a very healthy adult.'

Australia's most famous wildlife refuge was forced to close on March 26 due to the coronavirus lockdown and Terri Irwin, the wife of the late Crocodile Hunter Steve, revealed in July that it had been on the brink of collapse.

While it remained closed to visitors, hundreds of wildlife carers and staff still went to work to care for the animals at the popular tourist destination.

The Zoo and gardens opened again on June 12.

Their life in lockdown was documented on Animal Planet in Crikey! It's the Irwins: Life in Lockdown.

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