Patient of the Week

All proceeds from Steve Irwin Day go into projects such as the Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors Australian Wildlife Hospital.

The Australian Wildlife Hospital treats thousands of injured animals each year. Sadly, many of them don’t make it back to the wild. The lucky ones make a full recovery and go on to live happy and healthy lives in their natural habitat. These are their stories…

Stevie the Juvenile Echidna

Stevie the Juvenile Echidna

Age: Juvenile

Sex: Unknown Weight: 420 grams

Found: Stevie was handed into a vet surgery without information. This will make releasing him very difficult because the territory where he was born is not known.

Transported to: The Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital by a rehabilitator who was kind enough to act as "Echidna Ambulance".

Veterinary Assessment: Stevie was very thin and cold when he arrived at the hospital. Dr Amber found him very quiet. He was displaying serious issues within his gastro intestinal tract and had a possible parasitic infestation. Dr Amber did pathology tests on blood and faecal samples, with good results. Her conclusion was that Stevie, whilst being generally healthy was just not coping on his own in the wild. Stevie was quite small for newly emerged echidna.

Treatment: Dr Amber prescribed an antibiotic to counteract any early infection, and an increased ingestion of fluids.

Future: Stevie has been moved into the care of an experienced wildlife rehabilitator. He will be given time to increase his weight and size to give him a greater chance of survival in the wild.

AZWH Fact: After initial nurturing in a pouch, Echidna mothers seal their babies, puggles, into an underground burrow closed off with earth. They return to feed them every 5 days, approximately. The juveniles remain in the burrow until they are around 7 months old. After their last milk feed, Mum opens the burrow and walks away. Tough love!!

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