A Fan-Favorite From ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Is Real, And Several Were Just Born At An Australian Zoo

Whether or not Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was enough to satisfy fans of the Harry Potter franchise (or Warner Bros. executives) remains to be seen. However, one thing is clear — the niffler was the character “who really stole the show.” Audiences at most screenings couldn’t contain themselves whenever the black, fuzzy, wealth-hungry burrower was onscreen, and when they all find out about its real-world equivalent, everyone will probably book a trip to Australia as soon as they’re able to afford the airfare.

As the Mirror and several other outlets point out, the niffler bears a striking resemblance to the puggle. (Yes, it’s called a puggle, FFS.) The creature written about in Newt Scamander’s titular book, which appears in the new film, is described by author J.K. Rowling as a “fluffy, black and long-snouted” creature with a penchant for burrowing, searching for, and keeping “anything glittery.” Puggles, on the other hand, are actually baby echidnas — a species of short-beaked anteaters native to Australia and New Guinea.

Well guess what? According to CNN, the Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia has been blessed with a new batch of baby puggles after 30 years’ worth of attempts:

“All three mothers are doing an amazing job and tending to their puggles as needed. We have one mum, Spike, who is so attentive that she returns to feed her baby every second day,” said Suzie Lemon, a keeper at Taronga Zoo.

“This is a big step forward for Taronga. By monitoring the puggles so closely we’ve now got a good broad understanding of their growth cycle and development,” Lemon explained. “A day in the puggle world consists of lots of sleeping. They can be buried up to 30cm deep in their burrow, so they’ll just sleep and use all their energy to grow and develop.”

Seeing as how these puggles will eventually grow into adult echidnas, which look more like small porcupines with tiny snouts, they won’t be this cute forever. Yet considering the worldwide appeal of Fantastic Beasts, their current surge in Internet popularity won’t be lessening anytime soon — especially if Harry Potter fans have anything to say about it.

More puggles!

(Via the Mirror and CNN)