TWO baby echidnas who weighed less than a gram when they hatched at Perth Zoo are now pushing the one kilogram mark.
The baby short-beaked echidnas, Babbin and Nyingarn, still have more to grow, and could reach up to 7kgs, zoo keepers say.
The pair of ‘puggles’ – the name given to echidna young – are the first successfully bred from zoo-born echidnas. Their four-year-old mothers, Mila and Chindi, were also born at Perth Zoo.
The success of the new duo’s birth is giving experts the chance to learn more about echidna behaviour and their breeding patterns. Perth Zoo currently has 15 echidnas, eight of them born at the facility.
Echidnas are usually protected from major predators in the wild due to their spines, however have been subject to attack from dingoes.
Perth Zoo is currently hosting an international echidna workshop to discuss their reproductive behaviour and increase their breeding success at other zoos.