You can always count on Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand to simultaneously some of the most terrifying wildlife and some of the most adorable. At the latter end of the spectrum is the echidna, one of the world’s oldest species and one of the cutest to boot. We got to see this adorableness in action thanks to the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary who recently saved an echidna so fat, it survived being hit by a car with only a few minor bruises. Her name is Eleanor and she’s everyone’s new favorite.
- The poor animal could have been killed. Eleanor the echidna— 7 News reports this is her name, although I can’t seem to find confirmation on that from the sanctuary themselves — could easily have died as a result of being hit by a car, but it seems she had a lucky break and will live on, likely in large part due to her body fat.
- She was protected by her chunkiness. Eleanor the echidna is so overweight that even her rescuers were shocked and rather impressed by her size. And while overweight animals can face health dangers just like humans, it seems her chunkiness was an asset here and allowed her to escape serious injury.
- Isn’t she gorgeous? The Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary posted Eleanor’s photo to their Facebook page on January 29, showing off her adorable pudgy belly and telling everyone not to worry and that the echidna had already made a full recovery and been re-released into the wild. “Quite possibly the fattest echidna we have ever seen!! 😝” they wrote. “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?”
- Hopefully she stays safe! Echidnas aren’t necessarily known for being fast-moving creatures, but I imagine being so fat makes Eleanor’s pace even slower than normal for the species. Here’s hoping she’s able to avoid danger in future and stay out of harm’s way! Stay beautiful, Eleanor!