Seized echidna recovers and is released back into the wild

Issued: 3 Feb 2021

A rehabilitated adult female echidna has been released back into the wild by Department of Environment and Science (DES) wildlife officers.

In November 2020, DES received three echidnas from Queensland police that were seized from a private property near Warwick, where a warrant was being executed in relation to another matter.

DES took the echidnas to the RSPCA at Wacol for specialised care and treatment, but unfortunately two of the animals were in such poor condition they had to be euthanised.

Under the care of a veterinarian, however, the adult female echidna was able to make a full recovery and was released on 22 January near where the animal was initially taken.

“While it’s disappointing that two echidnas had to be euthanised, we were delighted to be able to release the third back into the wild,” DES Wildlife Operations Manager Frank Mills said.

“It is not often that seized wildlife, or wildlife allegedly kept unlawfully, make it back to the bush, so this outcome was particularly pleasing.”

In Queensland, echidnas are protected under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 and a permit is needed to keep an echidna or to care for sick, injured or orphaned echidnas.

Penalties, including a court-imposed fine of up to $400,350, can apply if a person is convicted for keeping native wildlife without authorisation.

DES officers are currently looking into the circumstances of the three echidnas being privately kept.

People wanting to rehabilitate animals should seek support of a local wildlife carer who has the appropriate permits, skills and experience.