We see our fair share of wildlife at Elsewhere Retreat in the Megalong Valley.  Like a lot of the valley, Elsewhere is a combination of native bush and rolling farmland and the wildlife doesn’t recognize the boundaries (or the fences J) and travels between the Blue Mountains national park and private properties. We almost always see kangaroos, soaring wedge tail eagles and a wide variety of Australian native birds. Wombats (we have around 10 wombat burrows at Elsewhere), echidnas and wild pigs are seen less often.

 

One of our favourites is the echidna (we call them all Eric after the 2000 Sydney Olympics mascot). Just this weekend we saw “Eric” the echidna wondering around the paddocks poking his snout where there were likely to be bug and ants. The echidnas have a charming “gait” as they shuffle along stopping suddenly to check something interesting that catches their attention. Up close and personal their spikes are very impressive and strong looking. The average diameter of a spike is around 3mm – with a very sharp tip!

 

 

If you get close to an echidna, you’ll find they will quickly take fright and curl up. If you sit quietly (and not too closely) you will see their beak come out to check for danger – and then they will happily go on their way.

 

Here are some interesting facts on echidnas:

·        They are the oldest surviving mammal on the earth today

·        They are solitary non-territorial animals that can range over an area of up to 50 hectares

·        While solitary, when a female comes into season you might see a train of echidnas with the female in front and up to 10 males behind

·        The female lays an egg which the “puggle” (baby echidna) breaks with its egg tooth and drags itself to the mothers pouch where it stays for up to 50 days when the spikes start to grow

·        They can weigh up to 7kgs

So you might look at “Eric” the echidna a little differently next time you see him......or her.

 

 


Please call us on 0417 275 113 or email us at enquiry@elsewhereretreat.com.au

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