Adelaide, Brookfield Zoos oldest animal, turns 50

Brookfield Zoo

Adelaide, Brookfield Zoo's Oldest Animal, Turns 50 March 23

March 23, 2019 - 3:14 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Nifty, nifty, look who's 50: Adelaide, Brookfield Zoo's oldest animal.

The short-beaked echidna hit her milestone birthday today, celebrating with onlookers as she devoured her nutritional birthday cake topped with wax worms -- her favorite treat.

Her fans serenaded her with "Happy Birthday to You."

Brookfield Zoo oldest animal turns 50
Brookfield Zoo

So what's an echidna?

According to representatives from Brookfield, they're one of only two mammals to lay eggs and are native to Australia and central and south New Guinea. Their stout, brownish-blackish bodies are covered in two-inch, hollow spines, although thick fur and bristle cover their bellies. They sport a stubby tail. They don't have teeth, so they flick their long, sticky tongues from their tube-like snouts to gather up food. They grind insect exoskeletons into paste with two sets of hard, keratinous spines on the roof of their mouths and base of their tongues.

Here's to many returns and wax worms, Adelaide.

Written by Erika Hobbs