Echidna finds himself in prickly situation
AN echidna has had a very lucky escape after surviving a 10km car ride after mistakenly climbing into a vehicle's engine.
Northern Rivers Wildlife Carers said in a Facebook post they are currently caring for the lucky animal, who escaped the "terrorising" ride with only minor injuries.
"We're not sure what made it take shelter inside the car, but echidnas are good climbers and incredibly strong," the post says.
"The driver had seen the echidna earlier but when they checked around the car a few hours later and couldn't see it, they thought the echidna had moved on.
"It was only when the driver stopped that the echidna was seen emerging from underneath the vehicle."
Northern Rivers Wildlife Carers said the echidna was taken to Keen Street Veterinary Clinic in Lismore to undergo an assessment.
According to wildlife nurse Sam Munro, on first examination the echidna "smelt like heated rubber with melted and burnt spines".
"After a quick anaesthetic for a proper health check, his underside area and feet were perfectly normal but on top he has seemingly avoided severe injuries," she said.
"He has suffered melted, damaged spines and singed hair but hopefully there will be no deeper skin burns that develop."
Northern Rivers Wildlife Carers said the echidna was currently recovering with an experienced echidna carer, and is set to make a full recovery and will be returned to the wild.