A 26-year-old man in Queensland, Australia has been charged with taking a platypus from the wild and carrying it on a train before heading to the mall.
The police put out an appeal for the animal’s safe return, saying that the man allegedly took the platypus from a waterway in Morayfield before wrapping it in a towel and taking a train to a shopping center in Caboolture.
According to the report, the man allowed strangers to pet the wild platypus both on the train and in the shopping center.
In an update, the police shared that the suspect had been identified and charged “with one count each of taking protected animal class 1 offence and restriction on keeping or using taken protected animal class 1 offence.”
The police were informed that the platypus was released into the Caboolture River, but authorities have been unable to locate it.
In the post, the Queensland Police added, “Taking a platypus from the wild is not only illegal, but it can be dangerous for both the displaced animal and the person involved if the platypus is male as they have venomous spurs.”
The New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment notes that platypuses are shy animals and will generally try to run from a perceived threat, but they’ll fight back if necessary by using the venomous spurs that release poison “strong enough to kill a dog.”
According to the IUCN, platypus populations are decreasing and their current status is listed as “Near Threatened.”Whizzco