The prickly personalities of its subjects hasn't stopped the success of Taronga Zoo's endangered animals breeding program, which is hoping to learn from successful breeding of two echidna puggles.
Hatched in August, to two different mothers, the puggles are only the seventh and eighth short-beaked echidnas to be born and bred in the Sydney zoo.
Their births are being lauded by the government as an important step towards the conservation of their critically-endangered neighbours.
"The knowledge about reproductive behaviours and processes gained from the breeding program at Taronga Zoo Sydney is precious," Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton said in a statement on Sunday.
"It is hoped that what keepers learn about the successful reproduction of short-beaked echidnas can be applied in the conservation of the critically-endangered long-beaked echidna found in Papua New Guinea and Indonesia."
Despite the echidna being one of the most widespread native mammals in Australia, there's much about them that is still shrouded in mystery due to their reclusive nature and cryptic behaviour.
And while the zoo's breeding program didn't have to deal with the challenges of dating apps or preparing the perfect Instagramable date, it was by no means smooth sailing to bring the puggles into the world.
"Echidnas are known to be a very challenging species to breed in a zoo environment, because they display very complex courtship behaviours," Ms Upton said.
Although already four months old, the baby puggles are not yet ready to be shown to the public, requiring continued care from their mothers and keepers.