A heartbreaking photo has surfaced of a platypus trapped in a plastic wristband. Slowly choking to death will be the eventual end to this unique monotreme as the band is around its neck.
Local wildlife enthusiast and avid photographer, Wal Bailey shot an image of the platypus that clearly shows a bright orange plastic bracelet.
It wasn’t the only sighting at a local creek and numerous concerned locals and WIRES members have since reported seeing the creature.
In the long term the band will tighten as the platypus grows, more likely the band will get caught on a snare in the creek as the platypus forages – it may drown if not able to surface for air.
Platypus are very secretive creatures, mainly nocturnal but sometimes able to be seen at dusk and dawn – freeing this little one is never going to be easy.
WIRES have contacted National Parks and Wildlife, the Department of Primary Industries, Southern Cross University, Lismore City Council, the local Landcare group and the Australian Platypus Conservancy.
An initial trapping effort was organised but didn’t manage to catch a platypus.
Gilad Bino, an experienced platypus rescuer from University of NSW organised a second trapping night. Bino led a team of WIRES volunteers and three platypus were trapped. Unfortunately, none were the banded individual, so they were released.
The location of the platypus cannot be made public, however, locals who are familiar with the area and situation are being encouraged to report in to the local WIRES branch providing times and locations, so that the rescue team can best plan their next trapping event.
The plight of this poor platypus is yet another reminder to the public of the dangers of plastic rings, and the terrible toll that plastic is having on wildlife.
Please always dispose of plastics appropriately, and remember to cut any plastic rings and bands, regardless of their size. You might just be saving the life of a platypus.
For more information about how you can join and contribute call 66281898.