Eleanor The Giant Echidna Is So Chonky She Survived Getting Hit By Car
It’s not fat, it’s power: meet Eleanor, an echidna so chonky she survived being hit by a car.
Australia’s bushfire crisis has seen the death of billions of animals, as blazes tear through habitats, leaving creatures no place to go amid the flames.
It’s been a horrific six months, but through all that adversity, a small glimmer of light has emerged – and its name is Eleanor.
The chubby echidna was brought into Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary in Hobart, Tasmania, for medical treatment after being clipped by a vehicle.
The situation could have been dire, but Eleanor’s glorious fatness got in the way – the chonky lady escaped the ordeal with only minor bruising.
In a Facebook post, the wildlife sanctuary wrote:
Quite possibly the fattest echidna we have ever seen!! This fine lady was clipped by a car, but luckily only had a couple of minor bruises! She has now been released. How gorgeous is she?! (She is sedated in this photo by the way!)
The Tasmanian short-beaked echidna looks similar to a hedgehog or porcupine, although it’s covered in fur and hollow, barbless quills. While it’s a mammal, it also lays eggs – making it one of five monotremes in the world, along with three other echidna species and one platypus species.
The animals (which have a stable population) are scattered across Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea, and tend to keep to themselves, active both during the day and night (depending on what food is available).
San Diego Zoo has explained the standard echidna day further on its website:
An echidna’s typical day begins by finding something to eat. Like anteaters, the echidna has no teeth. So how does it eat? The echidna has a long, sticky tongue to catch and chew its food: ants, termites, or earthworms.
Once food is located, the echidna tears into the mound or nest with its large, sharp claws and then uses the 6-inch (15-centimeter) tongue to lap up the bugs or worms. Hard pads at the base of the tongue and on the roof of the mouth grind the food into a paste for swallowing.
The echidna is also one of the Earth’s oldest living species, finding ways to survive while other animals fell to extinction – it’s pretty much unchanged since prehistoric times, perplexing scientists and researchers to this day.
We wish Eleanor all the best in her chonky future.
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