A man has been accused of kidnapping a platypus after he was spotted carrying a platypus on a train in Australia.
The 26-year-old man has since been charged with allegedly removing a platypus from its habitat in Brisbane, Queensland on Tuesday.
CCTV showed a man and woman boarding a train from Morayfield to Caboolture while the man held the animal wrapped in a towel.
Acting Superintendent Scott Knowles of Queensland Police said: “According to the report that was submitted [authorities]they showed it to people on the train and allowed people to pat it.
“The concerns in this regard would be some of the diseases that humans can carry that could affect the animal and vice versa.”
He added a witness told police the couple said they found it on a street and planned to release it.
The pair are then accused of entering a King Street shopping center and showing it to people.
After a call from the police, officials from the railway command found the man today.
He was charged in one case with taking a protected animal and in another with restricting the keeping or use of stolen protected animals.
He is scheduled to appear at Caloundra Magistrates Court on Saturday.
Police added that they spoke to a woman and that investigations are ongoing.
The animal is believed to have been released into the Caboolture River but has not yet been found by authorities. His condition is unknown.
Taking a platypus from its natural habitat carries a fine of up to AUD$430,000 (£231,200) in Australia.
The animal is at risk of illness or death if taken from its habitat, and the male platypus has a venomous spur that can cause excruciating pain to humans.
The platypus is found throughout eastern Australia, including Tasmania, but there are only about 300,000 left in the wild.
They tend to live in freshwater streams, slow-moving rivers, lakes, and dams.
It’s also one of only two species of mammals in the world that lay eggs – known as monotremes.
The other monotreme is an echidna, sometimes known as a spiny anteater.
The public are advised to keep their distance when seeing a platypus in the wild and never touch a wild animal or remove it from its habitat.
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