An echidna has been saved from being squashed at a mine in Australia's Northern Territory - and thanked his rescuer by leaving a poo in his hat. "The little bastard crapped in my hat and then crawled under the dash in the truck and into the wiring," said Munro Hardy, 25, the mine worker who rescued the spiky monotreme.
The rare egg-laying mammal had been wandering in the busy traffic zone of a gold mine pit at Pine Creek, 185km south of Darwin, around midnight. "He could have been run over," Mr Hardy said. He pulled on two pairs of leather gloves and grabbed the critter.
"He wasn't fast but he rolled into a ball when I caught him," he said. Mr Hardy put the echidna in a spare hard hat and intended to drive him into the bush and let him go. But the cranky critter had other ideas. First he defecated in the hat. Then he crawled out and hid under the dashboard.
"He was very difficult to get out," he said. Mr Hardy eventually let it go in scrubland, away from the mine. This was Mr Hardy's second brush with an echidna. Previously he plucked one from the water as it swam near Darwin's East Arm Wharf.