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A Beloved Echidna Has Been Stolen By A Dickhead In A Skull Mask

Police investigations continue after an echidna was taken from Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary on the Gold Coast.

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Updated on

Queensland Police say Piggie the echidna has been found safe and well in bushland near the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, around 6pm Monday evening.

It's believed one of the suspects told police where she had been released, and staff were able to find the echidna hiding under a tree log.

A 24-year-old man is currently assisting police with their investigations.

The hunt is on for a couple of dickheads in masks who decided it would be a great idea to steal a beloved echidna from a Queensland wildlife sanctuary.

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But the masked echidna thief didn't think to cover up the big black diamond tattoo on his inner left arm.

Police say the men failed to steal three other bigger echidnas from nesting boxes before they managed to get Piggie.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary / PR IMAGE

ABC News reports the theft was highly organised.

"They went from echidna enclosure to enclosure and they tried two of our larger girls first who really don't like being handled," Currumbin's vet Michael Pyne said.

"Echidnas are very difficult to pick up and they gave up on these and went to one of our younger echidnas who are a lot friendlier and managed to catch her."

Devastated staff at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary are appealing for the thieves to return Piggie, who won't survive if she is released into the wild.

Twitter: @9NewsBrisbane

"If they could please return her, just call us, we can pick her up, or if they can drop her off at the hospital, we would be thrilled," senior mammal keeper Alice Roser told BuzzFeed News.

"She is very humanised so she doesn't have that natural instinct to forage and find her food," she said.

Staff are baffled as to why anyone would want to take Piggie, as there is no market for echidnas.


But police might have a lead. A spokesperson for Queensland Police told BuzzFeed News that a media conference scheduled for this afternoon has been cancelled for "operational reasons'.

The empty enclosure where Piggie the 4 yr old echidna was stolen from on Saturday night @9NewsBrisbane

This could mean they have identified the thieves, if they no longer need to appeal for the public's help.

Police say they do not know the motivation behind the theft, and are worried for Piggie's welfare, as she requires specialised care and feeding.

Alexandra Lee is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney, Australia.

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