September 06, 2019

This echidna is allergic to the strangest thing

This echidna is allergic to the strangest thing
Dr. Chris Brown

Just when you thought a touch of hay fever was annoying, wait until you hear what Matilda is allergic to. She might be the unluckiest echidna on earth...

After being rescued as a tiny puggle (baby echidna) following the loss of her mum, keepers at Healesville Sanctuary near Melbourne noticed something strange about the spiky youngster. Every time they tried to wean her onto her regular diet of ants, her eyes would puff up and her skin would go red raw. Finally, a dermatologist confirmed that she was the one in a million marsupial. This so called spiny anteater was allergic to...ants.

Thankfully, given the logistical challenges of an spiky echidna living in a bubble, help was at hand. The ‘sharpest’ minds have concocted an ant vaccine for her. With regular shots to desensitise her, Matilda is now able to put ants and termites back on her meal time menu.

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