Elusive Golden Mole Makes Rare Appearance in Australia
The little-seen marsupial kakarratul was spotted by eagle-eyed rangers.
Rangers in the western desert of Australia spotted something rarely spotted: a kakarratul, the reclusive, shiny golden mole that spends most of its life hiding its good looks and great locks underground.
"Wow, how lucky are we!" the Tjamu Tjamu Aboriginal Corporation wrote on its Facebook page. "Last week the Kiwirrkurra Rangers saw this elusive creature while on a bush foods trip."
The corporation focuses on development issues with the region's Kiwirrkurra people and was in transit with some local rangers when they encountered the shy critter.
"We were driving along a bush track on our way home when this little golden creature ran across the road in front of us," the company wrote.
The kakarratul, also known as a northern marsupial mole (Notoryctes caurinus), is documented so infrequently that it's listed as "data deficient" with the International Union for Conservation of Nature, which tracks threatened species. With no eyes, it's also known as a "blind sand burrower" and primarily eats insect larvae and pupae.
While one ranger said he'd seen just one kakarratul in his career, many years ago, other rangers said they'd never seen one at all.
The ranger who first spotted the mole lightly held the animal as it tried to squirm away.
"After a few minutes of wonder," the company wrote, "we gently put it down away from the road and watched in awe as it dug straight down and disappeared."
Check out this golden wonder as it digs, as fast as it can, slowly disappearing back to its underground home: