Echidna needs a tissue after sneeze

WATCH: Echidna's cute sneeze blamed on world first

HAVE you ever heard an echidna sneeze?

Well meet Matilda - the first-known echidna found to be allergic to ants.

The adorable monotreme was accidently dug up from her burrow as a three-month old puggle on a property in Yarra Valley and subsequently brought into the Australian Wildlife Health Cere at Healesville Sanctuary in 2010.

But keepers started to worry when they noticed inflammation around the two-year-old's eyes, ordering special allergen tests to get to the root of the problem.

What they found caused quite a shock: Matilda was allergic to one of Australia's most common plants and, in a world first, ants, her primary source of food.

However, specialist vets created a tailored vaccine that was administered in regular doses to gradually build her immunity.

And finally, after many years, the sanctuary announced this month that Matilda has been vaccine-free for six months, with no adverse reactions.


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