Three Rescued Platypus Released Back Into Wild After Being Saved During Australian Bushfires
These three adorable platypus have been getting some TLC at the Taronga Zoo
The platypus has to be one of the cutest, oddest, quirkiest animals in the world. Mammals who lay eggs and sport a duck-shaped bill. Does it get any more fun than that?
I was surprised to see during a visit to Australia last year how tiny they are. These animals are precious to Australia.
So when many became endangered during the bushfires late last year, wildlife experts swooped in to save the ones they could. Their regular platypus habitat was no longer a good place for them to survive.
Bush fires brought great danger
Shrinking waterholes meant these special creatures faced certain death. Researchers from the Taronga Conservation Society and University’s NSW’s Centre for Ecosystem Science answered the call for help from ACT Parks and Conservation staff.
The seven were taken to the Taronga Zoo where they’ve been rehabbed and studied.
These special animals used to be quite common across Eastern Australia. However, now there is fear that they could be extinct in the wild within the next 50 years.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists the platypus as “near threatened.”
All the more reason to study, help, and release these animals.
The newly freed animals probably won’t be coming in contact with many humans soon. The nature preserve is one of many national parks in Australia that are currently closed because of coronavirus restrictions.
What’s the plural anyway?
I couldn’t write this story with wondering what is the correct word for more than one platypus?
Wikipedia offers, “Scientists generally use ‘platypuses‘or simply ‘platypus.’ Colloquially, the term ‘platypi’ is also used for the plural, although this is a form of pseudo-Latin; going by the word’s Greek roots the plural would be ‘platypodes.’
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