Hagrid had better get saving, because everyone will be wanting one of these cheeky chappies under their tree this Christmas: Nifflers — the bank robbing, scene stealing, furballs, who are sweet merch waiting to happen. While most of the creatures from #JKRowling's #FantasticBeasts may be confined to the pages of a book or stuck in the world of imagination (shame, I really wanted a thunderbird), nifflers do exist!
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...And Where To Find Them
Well, they sort of exist. The magpie-like thief who caused trouble for Newt Scamander bears more than a slight resemblance to Australia's short-beaked echidnas. Taronga Zoo in Australia just breed a litter of three baby echidnas, known as puggles — sorry, nifflers. Christian Manz, one of the visual effect supervisors on Fantastic Beasts said that nifflers were based on honey badgers, but I think even David Attenborough would agree that they are obviously baby echidnas. I know I would rather find a puggle in my bed than a honey badger!
It looks like us no-majs have been wrong all along, and the mythical beast has been hiding right under our noses. The magical secrecy act has finally been lifted, quick before we all get obliviated:
A Niffler Is For Life
Unlike the burrowing nifflers, echidnas tend to stick to the surface, and are notoriously good swimmers. Like a cross between a hedgehog and a platypus, echidnas are one of the few mammals who lay eggs, but captive breeding has proved a problem in the past. There is no conclusive evidence (yet) on whether they would make good jewelry thieves, but they do have the niffler-like pouches.
Now, we aren't advocating that you all go out and buy echidnas as a house pet, the last thing we want is a Finding Nemo/clownfish situation on our hands, but you have to admit they are really cute. The puggles are yet to be given genders or names, but if they are struggling for ideas, why not call one of them Muggle the puggle?
Check out the niffler in action, and don't forget our poll below!