An orphaned baby echidna has been named Rarity by an Australian zoo after its mother was hit by a car.
Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital called it “the cutest patient” after posting a photo of the 10-week-old infant to Facebook,
The infant, known as a puggle, has already begun to develop its signature spines, which start to grow around 45 to 55 days after hatching.
The wildlife hospital said: “Echidnas are an incredibly fascinating species. Like the platypus, echidnas are monotremes, which means they lay eggs instead of giving birth to live young and do not have any teats.
“Females will lay a soft-shelled egg into their ‘pouch’… aren’t they amazing?!”
The late wildlife expert Steve Irwin and his wife Terri founded the hospital in 2004 to care for injured, threatened and endangered wildlife.