A bloke has been charged for 'kidnapping' a wild platypus which he took for a train ride before a spot of shopping.
The unnamed 26-year-old from Morayfield, about an hour north of Brisbane, Queensland, northeast Australia, was spotted on CCTV with a woman walking around with the animal which was wrapped in a towel.
The BBC reported that Queensland Police had "grave health concerns" for the animal, which was allegedly released back into the Caboolture River, but which has not been located by authorities.
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The man could face a fine of up to A$430,000 (£231,700), while the woman who was with him when he paraded the platypus has also been spoken to by police.
Queensland Police's Scott Knowles said that the pair showed off the animal on a train in Morayfield.
"According to the report that was provided to [authorities], they were showing it off to people on the train, allowing people to pat it," he said.
They also took it to a shopping centre and showed it to people, police will reportedly alledge in court.
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Queensland's environment department said it was hazardous for the animal to be outside its natural habitat.
"Taking a platypus from the wild is not only illegal, but it can be dangerous for both the displaced animal and the person involved if the platypus is male as they have venomous spurs," a police statement said.
"If you are lucky enough to see a platypus in the wild, keep your distance. Never pat, hold or take an animal."
The arrested man has been charged with taking an animal classified as protected from the wild and keeping a protected animal captive. He will face court on 8 April, according to the BBC.
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