The Taronga Zoo in Sydney has good news to share with its visitors --the authorities have just announced the birth of three baby echidna, also called puggles, in almost 30 years.
Echidnas are egg-laying Australian mammals covered with coarse hair and spines and resemble anteaters of South America. The rare animals are very difficult to be breed in captivity and human care. However, the keepers of the zoo were delighted to find out that three different echidna mums now have successfully given birth to three healthy babies each.
"All three mothers are doing an amazing job and tending to their puggles as needed," said Suzie Lemon, one of the keepers, according to the Straits Times. "We have one mum, Spike, who is so attentive that she returns to feed her baby every second day," She added.
The puggles hatched between 16 and 30 August and have recently opened their eyes and weigh between 250g and 500g, the zoo authorities said in a statement. After birth, the puggles are carried around by their mothers in a pouch-like skin fold for nearly two months. It is only after then that the baby creatures start having some sense of their surroundings.
Though the Taronga Zoo holds the record of many amazing births of rare creatures like that of a platypus in 2003 - first one to be born in captivity, a puggle was last born in the zoo in 1987.
The zoo also holds the record of the first birth of an elephant calf in Australia. Thong Dee, an Asian elephant, was born on 4 July 2009.