You’ve been watching Beau the orphaned puggle (baby Echidna) grow up on the pages of ZooBorns ever since it was found on a hiking trail near Sydney, Australia and brought to the Taronga Zoo.
Upon arriving at the zoo in October, Beau was about a month old and nearly hairless. About a month later, you could see fine hairs beginning to sprout. Now, Beau is growing the coat of protective spikes typical of adult Echidnas.
“I’m thrilled with Beau’s speedy development! With fur and larger spines, Beau certainly looks like an Echidna now!” said veterinary nurse Annabelle Sehlmeier, who also acts as Beau’s surrogate mother.
More agile and co-ordinated, Beau is also starting to explore the surroundings and exhibit Echidna behaviours.
“Beau’s become adventurous and now climbs out of the travelling box. When disturbed, the young Echidna will flinch, curl up, or dig into the dirt, which is exactly what Echidnas do,” Annabelle explained.
The puggle, which weighs about three pounds (1.3 kg), lives in a large plastic tub with dirt for burrowing, although it still finds comfort in its nesting box that contains shredded paper and a tea towel.