The meeting between NSW SES Gilgandra Unit volunteer Kylie Gibson and a lucky echidna can certainly be described as fate.
Ms Gibson was travelling home and saw the echidna making its way across the road. The volunteer had her camera on her so decided to get a photo of the prickly animal.
The camera-shy echidna buried himself in the dirt, but Ms Gibson was patient and decided to wait and see if she could get a photo of his face.
"It was getting on dark... and when he popped his nose up I took the photo and when I looked at the photo I spotted the ring on it," she explained.
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"I thought 'oh dear I can't leave you like that'..... so I called a friend who is in WIRES and the NSW SES who came out and we took him back into town."
The two volunteers tried in vain to get the ring off the echidna's nose but it wouldn't budge.
The following day another NSW SES member attempted to help get it off but after those efforts failed they rang staff at Taronga Western Plains Zoo and explained the situation.
The echidna, aptly named Prickles, was transported to the zoo where he was sedated and the ring removed by zoo staff.
"It took them an hour to get it off his nose," Ms Gibson said.
Zoo staff kept Prickles in for the night for observation and on Monday the Gilgandra NSW SES volunteers picked him up to take him back to where he was first found.
The case of how the ring first got stuck on his nose remains a mystery, but Ms Gibson thinks Prickles may have been due to him digging around a property or shed.
"Our paths crossed for a reason," she said.
The Gilgandra NSW SES volunteer thanked her unit members Marita, Jodie, Mike and Geoff, for their help