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Young Platypus being found in unusual places

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Platypus-WIRESIt is not often WIRES receives calls about platypus in trouble - they are secretive and elusive animals. But last week our volunteers in the Northern Rivers area of NSW have had two calls about platypus wandering in inappropriate places. 

In this part of NSW the inexperienced and inquisitive juvenile platypus start to emerge from their nursery burrows in February and can sometimes find themselves in unusual places. 

At this time they are extremely vulnerable and may end up in inappropriate localities such as farm paddocks, suburban swimming pools, or long distances from water.

If you do find a 'lost' platypus, remember that they are wild animals with specialised living requirements. They have no facial expressions so you cannot see their distress, they will be stressed and in shock after being picked up by any human.

Be extremely careful if you have to pick up a platypus; males have a spur, located on their hind ankles which can cause extreme pain. Never place your hands under the platypus. Use a towel or jumper to lift the platypus into a box or similar and call WIRES straight away.
Juvenile platypus are smaller than adults - weight will be well under 1kg. If the juvenile platypus appears to be active and alert, it should be taken to the nearest creek or river with good vegetation along the bank and released immediately.

This juvenile platypus was found on the road, it was released after being examined to determine it was a healthy animal.