There are still serious concerns for the welfare of a platypus that was taken from Queensland waterway and onto a train earlier this week.
- Queensland Police issued public appeal to locate a man and woman
- The pair was seen travelling with a platypus wrapped in a towel from Morayfield Station
- It’s alleged the mammal was taken from a nearby waterway
- A 26-year-old man has now been charged but the search continues for the stolen platypus
A man has been charged after allegedly travelling with a wild platypus on a train in Queensland earlier this week.
Queensland Police issued an appeal after two people were observed boarding a train at Morayfield Station with the platypus.
It’s alleged the platypus had been taken from a waterway near the railway station.
The mammal was wrapped in a towel and the pair was seen patting it and showing it to fellow commuters.
Man arrested after taking platypus on train
Following the public appeal, a 26-year-old man was yesterday arrested and charged; however, the platypus has not been located.
The man was charged with one count each of taking protected animal and restriction on keeping or using taken protected animal.
He allegedly told police he released the platypus into the Caboolture River.
In the initial appeal, police and the Department of Environment and Science said it was a matter of urgency to find the platypus.
“The animal may become sick, be diseased or die the longer is it out of the wild and should not be fed or introduced to a new environment,” Queensland Police said in a statement.
“It may also have venomous spurs which can cause significant injury to people and animals.
“The animal’s timely surrender will ensure its welfare.
“The unlawful take and keep of a Platypus from the wild is a Class 1 offence under section 88 of the Nature Conservation Act 1992, that carries a maximum penalty of $431,250.”
Concerns remain for platypus
While the man has allegedly told police he released the platypus into the Caboolture River, it has not been located and there are ongoing concerns for its welfare.
If you have information for police, contact Policelink by providing information using the online suspicious activity form 24hrs per day at www.police.qld.gov.au/reporting.
Report crime information anonymously via Crime Stoppers. Call 1800 333 000 or report online at www.crimestoppersqld.com.au
Ten facts about the Platypus
The platypus is a semi-aquatic mammal that is only found in Australian waterways.
It is a monotreme; meaning they lay eggs, instead of birthing live young.
They have a thick, waterproof fur that keep them warm in cold water.
Male platypuses have venomous spurs on the hind legs; while not lethal, it can be very painful.
The platypus is famous for their bill – it’s soft and rubbery and covered in electroreceptors.
They are fantastic swimmers and ca hold their breath under water for up to five minutes.
Their webbed feet and streamlined tail help them move through water, while the electroreceptors in their bills to detect electrical impulses given off by the movement of their prey.
Platypuses are solitary animals and are active mostly at night when they feed on their prey, including insects, crustaceans and small fish.
They are listed as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Baby platypuses are called puggles and are born blind and hairless