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Echidna Theft May Be Prank: Qld Sanctuary

Echidnas are smelly, prickly and there's no black market for them.

So it's hard to understand why one was stolen from a Gold Coast wildlife sanctuary.

Perhaps the bizarre theft was a silly prank. The echidna called Piggie was taken from her nesting box at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary on Saturday night, with two men caught on camera breaking into the enclosure about 10pm.

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The sanctuary's general manager, Michael Pyne, said it was extremely difficult to imagine a motive for the heartless theft given the echidna was one of the worst animals to steal.

"They are difficult to hold, difficult to feed and they're stinky," the senior veterinarian told AAP.

"There's no market for echidnas. You can't sell them and they certainly don't make a good pet.

"I can only hope it's a silly prank and they bring Piggie back." Dr Pyne said the four-year-old echidna, which had only just come out of hibernation, would not survive for long without the specialised care of the sanctuary's carers.

"I'll be very concerned if we don't have her back within three days," he said.

The two men tried to steal two other echidnas, before taking Piggie.

One man was wearing a mask with a skull image on it, and has a distinctive diamond-shaped tattoo on his inner left arm.

His accomplice was wearing a hooded jumper.

Someone with a heart would know the two men and should contact police, Dr Pyne said.

But he was hopeful the two men would also have a heart and save Piggie's life by returning her to the sanctuary.

AAP

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