Echidna's are notorious for being escape artists, not only can they dig under fences but they are even able to climb out of pens.
Many zoos throughout the world choose not to have them on display for this reason, have a look at the echidna enclosure adopted by the San Diego Zoo in the United States - 100% escape proof and 100% unattractive and definitely not a happy place for an echidna.
Echidna's love to dig - their paws are especially made, with long claws that allow them to scratch and dig in the Australian outback.
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Echidna's in Care - Transporting
When an echidna comes into care they will be frightened.
When transporting them one should consider the fact that echidna are very good escape artists and so it is necessary to have a lid on top of any container you transport them in.
Transporting them in cardboard or timber crates is not advisable as they can dig out of them.
Plastic containers for a short time are acceptable (just for transporting) but if left for a long period the echidna will work their way out these too.
When transporting, make sure that you put some mulch or hay to hide under, this will help calm them.
Weighting the top of the lid is also necessary as Echidnas are extremely good at getting through cracks.
Make sure their are no loud noises, such as dogs barking or a car radio (however low you may think the sound is) and no animals sniffing around the container.
For more information of the care of Echidna's please go to our free online magazine Issue Two - click here
Echidna Enclosures - Long term
Sometimes an echidna must stay in care longer and an enclosure must be erected for it.
So far the best structure found is the use of water tanks cut in half.
The animal cannot climb the slippery sides and they cannot dig out.
Filling the bottom with dirt and mulch and adding hollow logs they can hide under or in will make them feel secure.
A termite mound can be added in the centre (one way to do this is to get a bucket filled with termites and dirt directly from a nearby termite mound and plopped upside down in the enclosure)
For more information on foods for echidnas please go to our wonderful online magazine Issue Two - Click Here