FULL RECOVERY: DES wildlife officer Jonathon McDonald releasing the Warwick echidna back into her natural habitat.
FULL RECOVERY: DES wildlife officer Jonathon McDonald releasing the Warwick echidna back into her natural habitat.

'Mistreated' echidnas euthanised after Warwick bust

Wildlife officers are investigating the actions of a Warwick resident they say kept three echidnas on their private property. 

In November 2020, Department of Environment and Sciences received three echidnas from Queensland police, who seized the animals when a warrant was being executed in relation to an unrelated matter.

Suffering from health issues from allegedly being kept in poor conditions, the native animals were transported to the Wacol RSPCA for specialist care, but unfortunately two were euthanised.

The third, an adult female, made a full recovery and was this week released back into her natural habitat.

"While it's disappointing that two echidnas had to be euthanised, we were delighted to be able to release the third back into the wild," DES wildlife operations manager Frank Mills said.

"It is not often that seized wildlife, or wildlife allegedly kept unlawfully, make it back to the bush, so this outcome was particularly pleasing."

DES officers are still investigating the Warwick incident and nobody has yet been charged or fined.

In Queensland, echidnas are protected under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 and a permit is needed to keep an echidna or to care for sick, injured or orphaned echidnas.

Penalties, including a court-imposed fine of up to $400,350 can apply.

A DES spokesman said people wanting to rehabilitate animals should seek support of a local wildlife carer with the appropriate permits, skills and experience.



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