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Prickly morning for Joe after dramatic echidna rescue

WILD RESCUE: Joe Bonnell and Issac Mills from RACQ Yeppoon hope they don’t have to endure rescuing an echidna from the dashboard of a car again but were happy to have the echidna freed. INSET: The 3.1kg male echidna under the deconstructed dashboard of Joe’s car.
WILD RESCUE: Joe Bonnell and Issac Mills from RACQ Yeppoon hope they don’t have to endure rescuing an echidna from the dashboard of a car again but were happy to have the echidna freed. INSET: The 3.1kg male echidna under the deconstructed dashboard of Joe’s car. Madeline Mcdonald Rokmracq

BONDOOLA'S Joe Bonnell had a prickly start to his morning yesterday.

About 8.15am, the 3.1kg male echidna that he'd rescued from his dog earlier had burrowed into the dashboard of his car on the drive to the vet.

When Joe pulled up in the car park of Yeppoon's Acacia Veterinary Surgery, the echidna was already halfway up into the inside of the dash and nearly out of sight.

Joe, 72, said his Good Samaritan act didn't turn out the way he'd hoped.

"I was looking for my dog on my property and I saw him running up the road away from an echidna," he said.

"I went over to see if the echidna was okay and I saw some bite marks on him from my dog so I put it in the car to take to the vet.

"I put it in a large bowl in the front seat so I could keep an eye on it when I was driving but on the way to the vet the bowl tipped over.

"Before I could stop the car to get him, he had crawled up under the bottom of the dashboard and wedged himself there. When I pulled up at the vet I saw how far up he had gotten.

"The vet came outside and we tried to get him out but he just kept moving up and was really latched on so the vet had to sedate him a few times to try to get him relaxed. They ended up sedating him with enough to sedate a 20kg dog, so he was pretty tough.

"We thought we should just leave him for a while and that he'd get out himself but he didn't move so we called RACQ."

When Issac Mills from RACQ Yeppoon got the call that an echidna was stuck in the dashboard of a car he didn't know what to expect.

"I've never had a job like this before so it was definitely something different," he said.

"I was working on trying to get him out for nearly two hours so it was tougher than I thought. I had to pull most of the passenger side dashboard off to get to him and also had to cut the carpet around him but it could have been much worse."

Acacia Veterinary Surgery veterinary nurse Brenton Tingle said the echidna, which has now been named Heidi, was recovering at the vet and was set to be picked up by a carer today.

Topics:  echidna rescue



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