An adorable echidna has broken into an Australian hotel and wrought utter havoc, leaving the proprietors with an eye-watering $3,500 (USD $2,356 or £2,048) bill for the damage.
Who knew these little critters could leave behind such a war path?
As room eight had not been rented out, staff members were shocked to find flipped fans, damaged carpet and dirt everywhere over two nights, as per The Armidale Express.
Hotel owner Leanne Summers began asking around, trying to figure out why the room looked like it had been trashed worse than a member of the Rolling Stones.
But Leanne was surprised there were no footprints.
"I had been phoning around all the staff to see if anyone had let the room out, but didn't record it in the book, to try and piece together who could have trashed our room," she said.
Cleaners Robbie Lee and Alison Smith attempted to restore the room after the discovery while keeping it off-limits as it was not suitable for guests to stay in.
However, come Monday morning, the door to room eight had been unlocked to let some air out, only for staff to find that bins had been knocked over.
At that moment, they spotted the little creature hiding beneath the bed.
"We couldn't believe our eyes," Leanne told ABC News.
"I said here, 'Look we'll grab these welding gloves' and between the two of us — Robbie had to lift the bed up, I had to get underneath it and encourage the echidna to come out the side — and then we took him down and released him out in the paddock."
Leanne isn't sure how the spiny anteater made its way into the hotel room, but she suspects it could have entered via the hotel stairs and slipped through after the veranda door was left open.
And while the encounter had many in stitches, the hotel owner disclosed that the echidna’s unplanned stay had resulted in a hefty bill.
"It is funny ... but it's not," she laughed.
But now, the hotel is considering honouring the dome-shaped animal after it made such an impression on staff and guests.
Leanne said: "We're now actually thinking of calling Room 8 the Echidna Suite, in honour of our little friend."
Featured Image Credit: Bendemeer.Hotel/Facebook. Bendemeer Hotel.
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