Dec 1

Day of the Echidna

What a day we have had on Fussell Street Hill today…

A knock at the door by a young child alerted me to an injured echidna in the middle of the road. When I got there the child’s mum was protecting the echidna, she suggested she drive for help while I stood in the middle of the road waving my arms to alert oncoming drivers to slow to a crawl as they went past the injured animal. Mind you I was jumping up and down and waving like a totally crazy person, scared those that speed along Fussell St wouldn’t stop in time… ekkkk

I was for an incredibly rare moment without my phone… so I was totally freaked out!

The echidna looked so dazed and so fragile and so vulnerable, staggering in the middle of the road, reaching repeatedly with its claw to its nose. Stumbling, reaching, unbalanced. It seemed to sense the vegetation close by and eventually, staggering, made it off the road, under the first bush, and immediately began to dig itself in.

The first protector returned, unfortunately she said ‘no help’. Some other wonderful woman drove past and mentioned BADGAR. Geez what was I thinking (read NOT), I knew people in BADGAR so well. I rang looking for their number. Hilariously the guy on the other end of the phone went something like this… “I can’t find anything for badger in Ballarat”, “No nothing for wildlife rescue”, “What is the name of the business?”, “You might be confusing it with ‘bad-gar’?” Obviously he had lost the power of intuition, connection and pronunciation…

Leanne from BADGAR arrived first and started digging. Then Sharon turned up and also began digging. I cut back branches, provided coffee, occasionally tools and jellybeans.

They kept at it. For three hours. Flat out. Scraping, chatting, laughing and sharing tips about echinda’s. They told me that if an echidna has a broken or damaged snout then it likely the end. The echidna was bleeding from its nose profusely when I saw it.

The injured and incredibly stubborn echidna was eventually dragged from its hiding hole. The girls checked it for injuries and sent it straight to care at Greendale Wildlife Shelter. Later I received a call telling me its snout was fine, it was injured but in good health and was likely to be released very soon.

I remain in awe of their passion, their commitment, their knowledge and their huge contribution to the protection of our wildlife. They tell me also that BADGAR needs old sheets, old towels, unscented tissues, animal hutches, rubbish bins (to transport injured dangerous wildlife, and so many other bits and pieces I have likely forgotten. I promised them our street Christmas party would collect these things, along with any donations we can do as well.

Check them out at and donate what you can. BADGAR Phone line number is 1300223427 a 24 hour number.

Residents of Ballarat East please send in you wildlife sightings and pictures. Its important to show how over-development in our urban-rural area is creating injuries to our wildlife and reducing their habitat so close to the city. So unique so fragile.




  1. Maggie Dannatt says:

    Great story, unfortunately we picked up a dead echidna 2 weekends ago on Eureka St. that had been hit on the head, otherwise perfect, they are such beautiful creatures. The same week a blue tongued lizard was also killed and a large male kangaroo. I talked to the woman who hit the kangaroo she had not been traveling fast but had no idea this is a wildlife corridor and it was 1pm so she was not expecting it. Her car was a write off and she was very upset understandably as the roo did not die straight away.I have written to the council asking for wildlife signs and a reduction in the speed limit on this part of Eureka st. We are very familiar with these animals as they spend time on our property and we see how stressed they are. We spend so much of our time trying to keep their habitat and to see them killed so unnecessarily is really tragic. We have had no reply from the council yet, has anyone got any idea what I can do next?

  2. Stephen Ditchfield says:

    my wife and son are so pleased that the echidna they found is now well cared for

  3. Alice Christie says:

    Great outcome guys. We had one last summer close by at the corner of York and Fussell that had crossed the road, and then dug itself in when someone wanted to move it to more safe ground. Seen quite a few-big buggers too-up near Canadian. Seems all the more reason to protect their habit around here.

  4. Frank Neilsen says:

    I often used to see echidnas crossing the hill in Eureka Street, east of Fussell. They move so slowly, and can be easily identified from at least 100 metres away, that there is absolutely no excuse for any sane driver to hit one.

  5. Judyann says:

    I had an echidna on my lawn again this week on Wilson St Hill. They live opposite me, so crossing the road is dangerous for the little guys. They have no road sense. If they are ‘on to’ ants , they totally ignore everything, including people , who are very close to them.

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