A woman with a crowbar struggles to tip over a burrowing echidna by the roadside so that it can be relocated to a safer place. Meanwhile, the echidna struggles to remain entrenched by clinging to dirt and roots underground.

Firstly, I need to say I do not condone the use of crowbars for the purpose of dislodging a burrowing echidna and believe that such a method would be extremely cruel and harmful. The accompanying image serves solely as an indication of how well echidnas can entrench themselves to avoid capture.

For further information on echidnas and correct rescue techniques, please see Wildcare Australia.

Recently my friend encountered an echidna on the roadside and decided a relocation rescue attempt was warranted in case it should wander onto the road. I have seen echidnas burrowing in the wild and know that they can’t be just picked up as you would a cat or small dog. So as she conveyed the effort required to remove it, the above image is pretty much how I imagined it. Of course there was no crowbar involved in the rescue, but much padding was used for hand protection. The mission was successful and the echidna lived to frolic at a safer distance from the road.

I have encouraged her to hurry and have some more wildlife adventures so that I can get some further ideas for drawing.

For this cartoon, I tried experimenting with coloured outlines instead of just black (apart from the inset underground echidna panel). The result is a softer feel and it’s probably a bit easier to look at. I think I would like to do more drawings using this style.

As I look at this drawing, I can’t help but be concerned that if the echidna suddenly gave up and popped out, my friend would be likely to get a nasty bump to the head from the crowbar. In retrospect, I should have provided her with a crash helmet… and perhaps a mattress or tumbling mat to fall on.

Cow tipping would be safer and no doubt a lot easier.

While reviewing this, I found my spell checker had a problem with the word ‘echidna’ and really wanted to change all references to either Chinamen or enchiladas.