SYDNEY: Forget the Hollywood thriller Snakes on a Plane, an Australian man is in trouble for getting his platypus on a train.
Police have made a public appeal after a 26-year-old man traveling with a woman was discovered on a suburban train with a wild platypus wrapped in a towel.
The man, who is due to appear in court on Saturday (April 8) on alleged animal protection charges, allegedly took the elusive animal from a northern Queensland waterway and brought it Get on a train to a shopping mall.
Queensland Police said in a statement: “There are allegations that the couple was observed showing the animal to the public at a shopping centre.”
Railroad officers apprehended the man and they spoke to the woman traveling with him, police said.
But the fate of the platypus is a mystery.
Police said: “Police have been informed that the animal has been released into the Caboolture River and authorities have yet to locate it.
“Its status is unknown.”
CCTV photos from Tuesday show a man in flip-flops strolling along a platform north of Brisbane while holding a platypus – the size of a kitten – under his arm.
The man and his companion then wrapped it in a towel, “patted it, and showed it to the companions,” police said.
Under Queensland conservation law, it is illegal to capture “one or more” platypuses from the wild, with a maximum fine of AU$430,000 (US$288,000).
Police said: “Taking a platypus from the wild is not only illegal, but it can be dangerous for both the animal being displaced and the people involved if the platypus is male because they have spurs. poison”.
“If you’re lucky enough to see a platypus in the wild, keep your distance.”
With a beaver-like tail and platypus, the platypus gained a reputation as a hoax when British scientists first encountered their specimens in the late 18th century.
Platypuses are native to Australia’s freshwater rivers and are part of a rare group of mammals – monotremes – that lay eggs.