Driving along a busy road on her way to a beach near her home in Northern Rivers, Australia, Solé Beatriz Falcon caught sight of a tiny black lump struggling on the side of the highway.
Falcon, an experienced wildlife rescuer, immediately knew it must be an animal in trouble.
As she pulled over, she saw him more clearly — a black echidna who was trying to scale the cobblestone wall to safety, but couldn’t quite make it over.
Falcon quickly grabbed a thick pair of gloves from the back of her car and ran over.
“I saw [the echidna] wanting to get up, but he or she was a bit stuck with that garden ledge,” Falcon told The Dodo. “That footpath is along the dog beach, so I felt I had to help … so no dogs or cars would hurt him or her.”
Echidnas, who are native to Australia, are generally solitary creatures. According to London’s Natural History Museum, the little animals, also known as spiny anteaters, are introverted and only gather with each other during mating season. However, this echidna, perhaps realizing that Falcon was there to offer assistance, uncharacteristically allowed his rescuer to pick him up and place him on the other side of the wall.
“[The echidna] was actually really cooperative!” Falcon said. “They can curl up in a ball and dig into the ground very quickly, but this one let me help.”
As she watched the echidna scramble back into the wilderness where he belonged, Falcon felt satisfied and happy.
“I am always looking out for animals in need,” Falcon said. “I just love helping animals!”
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