Burrow hunt goes wrong for young platypus

A young platypus trying to establish its own territory on the Gold Coast has recovered from illness.
A young platypus trying to establish its own territory on the Gold Coast has recovered from illness.

A young platypus left his mum behind in search of his own Gold Coast waterhole when he waddled into a bit of a pickle.

Severely dehydrated and riddled with ticks, Jarrah the puggle was last week discovered under a hinterland house before being taken to the Walkabout Creek Discovery Centre.

"When a male platypus is around seven to eight months old, they leave the care of their mothers to search for a water body of their own, to establish their own territory or home range," said Jason Flesser, head of the rangers now caring for him.

"We understand Jarrah might have been looking for a place of his own when it is likely he's run into a little trouble."

But the tiny water baby is now getting ready for his next burrow-hunting mission.

The ticks have been removed and the eight-month-old has stacked on 62 grams in the week since he arrived at the discovery centre near the Enoggera Reservoir.

He's being cared for around the clock and living it up in a custom pen.

"Platypus have sensitive hearing and are easily disturbed which is what makes them hard to spot at times," Mr Flesser said.

"But that's what makes caring for Jarrah so special, because you rarely get to see a young platypus up close."

Australian Associated Press