Australia · pets · son

An Unusual Visitor


After dinner tonight, I let Forrest dog out for a run, and before too long she began barking. She barked, and barked, and barked, way down the back of the garden. And Forrest doesn’t bark for no reason. She may bark because she can’t find her ball and wants help finding it; and she’ll bark at the cats if they don’t want to play with her (which is usual!) and she’s a good watch-dog too, so will bark if someone knocks on the front door.

Forrest is Adam and Mary’s dog, but they had gone out for dinner tonight, so Ben, also thinking the amount of barking was rather excessive, took a torch down the back to see what the problem was. Ben worried that it could be a snake that had Forrest in such a tizzy!

The good news was that it wasn’t a snake. The not so good news was that Forrest had a poor, scared echidna baled up, under a tree!

Forrest didn’t harm the echidna at all, I hasten to add, and I’m sure all her ruckus was an attempt to get this new friend to play with her, but still….you hear stories…..

Sybil, my lovely blogging friend from Nova Scotia, told of an episode where Sooki, who looks very similar in appearance to our Forrest girl, baled up a porcupine, after which the photos of Sooki were not pretty! I had shown photos of Sooki to both Ben and Adam some time ago, complete with “quills” protruding from her face, and this was the first thought that Ben had tonight, as he remembered the Sooki incident.

Ben had a torch with him, and also his mobile phone, so armed with these two items, he managed a clear enough photo to show you the poor little chappy, trying to hide ~

Forrest's new friend, the Echidna.
Forrest’s new friend, the Echidna.

I did a bit of a Google search and found some clearer photos, along with some information about these beautiful mammals, on the Australia Zoo website. Australia Zoo is only a couple of hours drive north of here, and the home of the Crocodile Hunter, the late Steve Irwin. Here is a link to the Short-Beaked Echidna page on the Australia Zoo website. I can only assume that our backyard visitor is a short-beaked echidna, as his “beak” was tightly tucked away from Forrest!

Another walk down the garden a short while later revealed no further sign of the Echidna, so we can only assume that he managed to find his way back out of the garden….based on the fact that he found his way in! Hopefully he has a good sense of direction.

Tomorrow when Forrest goes out into the garden, one of us will have to go with her, until we are satisfied that the Echidna has realised that ours isn’t going to be the quietest garden on the block to take up residence in.


6 thoughts on “An Unusual Visitor

  1. Great story! Yay, Forrest! 🙂 So interesting that this critter lays an egg, yet is a mammal. Like a platypus. Fascinating flora and fauna you have there! In the photo at the zoo, it looks pretty big. Does its quills come off like our porcupine, or at do they stay attached?


  2. Interestingly, when I went out into the garden to take photographs of the eclipse the other night, I was worried that I might step on our resident hedgehog! M xx


  3. What a lovely photo of Forrest. It doesn’t sound like Echidnas release quills the way a Porcupine can. And Porcupines don’t “ball up”. Instead they might back up toward the aggressor presenting them with a display of quills. But unlike the myth they don’t “shoot” the quills. If attacked the quills release easily and have barbed spikes on the end that work under the skin of the attacker. Sadly Sooki attacked the Porcupine and being an idiot ignored the fact that she had a face and mouth full of quills and killed the poor innocent creature. I’m glad that Forrest had the sense to leave the sweet Echidna alone.


  4. An unusual visitor indeed, the little echidna! Poor thing probably was frightened out of his wits! Nice of Forrest to let you all know there was a visitor in the garden. I hope this echidna decides to visit a different garden in the future, though.


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