One of the two men accused of stealing an echidna from a Queensland wildlife sanctuary has appeared in court today.

The theft of Piggie, a four-year-old breeding female, from her enclosure at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary has made headlines around the nation this week.

To nobody’s great surprise, it turns out that alcohol was probably involved in the bizarre crime.

Jarrod Ronad Simmons, 24, is one of the two men allegedly responsible for the echid-napping. He appeared in Southport Magistrates Court today, charged with receiving tainted property and animal cruelty.

Law clerk Jacob Reichman, who is representing Simmons, said there was a significant amount of alcohol involved in the theft, which he described as a prank gone wrong.

Mr Reichman, who successfuly had the matter adjourned until tomorrow, said his client was involved in safely returning Piggie to the sanctuary.

“He took a photo with the echidna and showed that to a member of the public who raised the alarm,” Mr Reichman told reporters.

“Mr Simmons is only alleged to be involved in the return so we don’t have any details, nor does the police material, about why it might have been taken but it is a prank gone wrong.

“It was merely just alcohol-fuelled stupidity.”

A second man, 25, will appear in Southport Magistrates Court on August 17. He has been charged with animal cruelty, receiving tainted property, possessing dangerous drugs and unlawful possession of a weapon.

Piggie was found on Monday night, wandering on the wrong side of the fence at the sanctuary. She is reportedly doing well and settling back in to her enclosure.