This juvenile Platypus is currently in care at Wildlife Mountain, having been found on
the bank of a creek, unresponsive and covered in ticks.Mandy found this little male
in the afternoon, and called for help.
He was taken to the Lismore
vet clinic for treatment for the ticks, and also given fluid for
The following morning it became
apparent that he was also suffering from Pneumonia, and is now
being treated for that.
He is currently being tube fed
as he is too weak to eat by himself.
We will keep you informed of his
20 January 2007
Platypus has finally been released after
15 days in care. He was tube fed for about a week, before the
antibiotics took care of his Pneumonia, he started to gain strength, and able to self feed.
that he would actually eat was a challenge in itself, he would
turn his bill up at just about everything he was supposed to like,
but we did eventually find his favorite, small crayfish from our
creek. It became a daily trek down to the creek finding cray fish.
That was not too hard as there is plenty down there, and we came
up with a successful way of catching them.
Housing a Platypus was something
we had never had to do, so a new enclosure was constructed in
a hurry. This became a challenge, as Platypuses do not have an
enclosure even close to any other animal we had previously had
in care. He needed a burrow,complete with resting and sleeping
nest at one end, and access to the water at the other.
Help was at hand from David Fleay's Wildlife
Park in SE Queensland, where they have raised Platypus in the
past. We were instructed on how to make an enclosure, and how
to set it up, which we did, and Platypus loved it. Here he was
able to go for a swim and hunt for food put in daily. Having food
in a small area, meant that the water had to be changed daily,
and new food supplied.
Images above show him
about to enter his constructed burrow.
On a totally different note, but to show
you what happens when you are dealing with animals and live in
the bush, image below shows our resident carpet python looking out from the roof of
what is happening.
Nothing much escapes his attention, which is
why we must ensure all animals have enclosures that are totally
An easy meal would very much be appreciated
by out local friend, but he has to catch his own, and in the bush
there is never a shortage of food for a hungry python. As long
as it is not our sick or orphaned charges he stalks, he is left
to his own devises.
Releasing Platypus was a great experience,
having had him in care for this amount of time, the release time
had to be chosen carefully.
The day was chosen due to the moon
being dark, predators would be less on a dark moon, the day was
overcast, and slight rain had fallen in the morning.
We took him to the release site early in
the afternoon. As I put him on the rocks by the water,
he did not take many seconds before he slid in to the water, his
excitement was clearly visible as
he made his way through the water staying close to the bank of
the creek, his bill searching out food. He came back to me a few times, then he
entered the deeper water, and once having assured himself that
he was indeed free, he did not come close to me again.
I can imagine him thinking : she is not going
to put me back in that enclosure, I'm staying out of her reach.
We stayed and watched him
some time, until he made his way up a slight slope on the embankment
and disappeared in to the reeds. He stuck his beak in to the water
a few times, cleaning his cheek pouches of food scraps as they do
after eating, and he then did not show himself again.
We decided to leave him in peace to enjoy
Video of his release
Being able to help this little fellow back
to the wild was indeed a pleasure, we have in the process
learnt so much, spoken to some very dedicated people helping these
animals survive in a ever decreasing natural environment.
I would like to thank staff from Flay's
Wildlife park in SE Queensland and staff from Australia Zoo who
were a great help with information on how to care for this Platypus,
and help on how best to release him.
Having had the experience
of caring for this unique animal has been a privilege, one I will
treasure.They rarely come in to care, and when they
do often their injuries are so severe that they can not be saved.