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5 Dec, 2021 16:44

Chaos as runaway echidna somehow avoids getting squashed by racecars (VIDEO)

Chaos as runaway echidna somehow avoids getting squashed by racecars (VIDEO)

An uncooperative echidna was nearly responsible for an accident at Sunday's Bathurst 1000, the annual 1,000km touring car race held in Australia, after the critter wandered on the track and was almost hit by several cars.

The animal, which to an untrained eye closely resembles a hedgehog, was responsible for "madness" on the circuit after it was spotted crossing the track.

The race was promptly yellow flagged and a safety car was rushed out but not before it came close to be squashed by more than a few cars, amid concerns that it could potentially lead to a serious accident if one of the various racers swerved to avoid hitting it - as several of the drivers were forced to do. 

The echidna, though, showed some admirable fleet footedness on the track as it raced to avoid the oncoming traffic an any animal rights enthusiasts watching the broadcast will have breathed a significant sigh of relief after the critter made it across the track to the safety barrier where it was safely retrieved by a trackside safety marshal.

And as Supercars icon Mark Skaife said afterwards, this was one of the more unusual scenes he's ever witnessed on a racetrack.

"In my experience we’ve seen kangaroos, we’ve seen horses, we’ve seen trees and water and bits of cars. We have never seen an echidna.

"This place is just madness."

After the excitement, the race got underway again on lap 109 and was won by Chaz Mostert and Lee Holdsworth – and after the earlier drama, which also saw Mostert suffering a tire delamination – it's safe to say that this will be one of the more memorable wins of their careers. 

And after the echidna became something of a social media celebrity, the official Supercars Twitter account made sure to note its newfound fame.

"To the Cutting Echidna," they wrote. "Supercars Twitter thanks you for your service."

"Aww cute, glad everyone avoided it & it got out alive," wrote a racing fan in response.