Watch in this video as an adorable orphaned echidna puggle (a relative of the platypus) named ‘Beau’ is being fed with a dropper by Nurse Annabelle at the Taronga Wildlife Hospital at Australia’s Taronga Zoo. Beau was found abandoned on a path in a caravan park at Anna Bay, New South Wales and is being nursed to health by Annabelle. More of the story and additional images of Beau can be found at the zoo’s website.
Both Echidna and Platypus feed their young in an unusual way. Instead of having teats like other mammals, they have milk patches which excrete milk for their young to lap up. This is why Annabelle has to feed Beau from the palm of her hand, so it can lap milk as it would do in the wild. Once feeding, Beau resembles a mini vacuum cleaner, going back and forth making sure every drop of milk is sucked up – contributing to its ever growing belly.
photos by Ben Gibson via Taronga Wildlife Hospital