One of my friends, the big goof, wanted to know if it were actually possible to own a platypus. Well, I didn't know, but I do now!
Platypus are wild animals with specialised living requirements. It is illegal for members of the public to keep them in captivity. A platypus which has been accidently captured along a stream or found wandering in an unusual place should never be taken home and treated as a pet, even for a brief time. The animal will not survive the experience.My dream is dashed. Not only wouldn't they survive in captivity (I'm not sure how well they would adapt to my cats, either,) but they also have some disturbing habits. Did you know:
Only a small number of Australian zoos and universities hold permits to maintain platypus in captivity for legitimate display or research purposes. Current Australian government policy does not allow this species to be taken overseas for any reason. http://www.platypus.asn.au/distribution_and_status.html
- Every male platypus has a venemous spur on each of his back ankles. This venom is extremely painful to humans and also causes inflammation and swelling (Oxford Reference).
- The female does not have teats. Instead of suckling, the young lap up milk secreted by skin on the mother's stomach (Oxford Reference).
Tom R. Grant "Platypus" The Encyclopedia of Mammals. Ed. David W. Macdonald. Oxford University Press, 2007. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press. Mississippi Library Commission. 13 April 2011 http://www.oxfordreference.com/views/ENTRY.html?subview=Main&entry=t227.e111