Australian authorities have arrested and charged a man who stole a platypus, The Guardian reports BBC.
The 26-year-old was arrested after police sought the public’s help in finding the animal – which had serious health concerns. The perpetrators told Queensland Police that the mammal was released into a nearby river, but was never found. The man can count on a fine of up to 430 thousand Australian dollars (100 million HUF).
As we previously reported, the suspect was caught and assisted on a train by security cameras in Murrayfield, an hour north of Brisbane, on Tuesday with the animal wrapped in a towel.
“the [hatóságoknak] “According to a report that was handed in, it was shown to train passengers and allowed to pass by people,” said Scott Knowles of Queensland Police.
The police will also claim in court that the couple were seen showing the animal to passers-by at a nearby shopping centre.
The Queensland Department of the Environment expressed concern that the platypus could easily become ill or even die whenever it was left outside its habitat, and urged the party to take it to a vet.
The police confirmed that they were informed that the animal was released in the Capulture River by the couple, but they have not been able to find it yet, so they do not know its condition. The man who was arrested has been charged with taking a protected animal from the wild and keeping a protected animal in captivity and has been taken to court.
Notoriously shy and elusive, platypuses live in freshwater streams and slow-moving rivers, lakes and dams in eastern Australia.
This animal is one of the only ungulates in the world – laying mammals – of which there are only two species.
Hungarian Animal Protection
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