Messing With Echidnas

New York Times story about long-beaked echidnas, or spiny anteaters, intelligent, mellow creatures of the Indonesian rain forest:

Echidnas keep their cool, all right. “They’re one of the most pacifistic mammals,” Dr. Rismiller said. “Nobody bothers them; they don’t bother anybody. There’s a lot we could learn from them.”

Except we haven't:

It took Mr. Opiang months of searching before he found his first echidna. Then he discovered that if he followed trails of freshly dug nose pokes at night — the holes that echidnas made with their beaks as they foraged for earthworms — he could find a den where a sated echidna would be hiding. He learned to grab them under the stomach, where there were no spines. “If you hold them against yourself, they’re friendly and they won’t struggle,” he said. Over five years he managed to capture, measure and, in most cases, attach radio transmitters to 22 individuals.