Police hunt pair who stole a platypus and took it onto a train

Police in Australia are on the hunt for two people who allegedly stole a platypus.

The animal was thought to be taken from its natural habitat in Moreton, Queensland, on Tuesday 4 April, at around 11am.

It was then spotted wrapped in a towel being and being carried by one of the two people, boarding a train at Morayfield Station.

Footage captured showed the platypus being petted and shown off to fellow commuters, with police believing they were heading towards Caboolture.

“According to the report that was provided to [the police], they were showing it off to people on the train, allowing people to pat it,” Queensland Police’s Scott Knowles said.

“The concerns around that would be some of the diseases that people may carry that might impact on the animal and vice versa.”

Mr Knowles added someone who had spoken to the pair said they were planing to release it after it was found on the road.

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Police, alongside the Department of Environment and Science are urging the pair to surrender the platypus to an emergency vet or police station as soon as possible, over concerns it may become ill or diseased, or even die, with the risk growing the longer it is away from its habitat.

It could also have venomous spurs, which can cause injury to people.

The unlawful taking of a platypus from its natural habitat carries a fine of up to $431,250 (£231,745).