Pet platypus are loving, playful and require large space, water and proper food. Their diets should include nymphs, crayfish and larvae since they love to hunt and remain active. Having a pet platypus is rare because it is a challenge to set up the perfect environment and legal in some parts of the world. This article supports interested individuals on how to create a happy environment for platypus while deciding whether they can be pets or not.
The platypus has a unique look with a duck’s bill, webbed feet, and waterproof fur. People are now interested in exotic pets resulting in questions about whether platypuses can make decent pets, which we will analyze.
About the Platypus
The platypus is a unique Australian mammal that lays eggs instead of birthing live offspring. Platypuses reside in Australian freshwater rivers and estuaries, but their specific habitat needs make them a threatened species. Platypus has interesting features, including webbed feet, a wide flat tail, a bill used for underwater exploration, waterproof fur, while females lay eggs, males can produce venom.
Can You Have a Pet Platypus?
You must consider the platypus’ needs and suitability to domestic life, and secondly, the legal status of exotic pets in your area. Platypuses are classified under exotic and wild animals, and laws vary depending on your location. Prior to caring for a wild pet, the UK requires a license while countries like Australia, where platypus originates, view it as illegal. You may have to check your location’s legal status, and in most cases, it is not reasonable to import or care for a platypus as a pet due to the risks they pose.
Is a Pet Platypus Dangerous?
Platypuses are generally calm creatures but can be threatening and aggressive when threatened or distressed. Platypus can still inflict considerable damage, despite being small mammals. Males can also produce venom during their mating season, and although not lethal, the venom is excruciatingly painful and can pose a major health challenge to other pets in the house.
Natural Platypus Environment
Platypuses are crepuscular aquatic-based mammals adapted for freshwater life with their streamlined body, waterproof fur, and strong limbs. They reside in burrows near freshwater sources, leading mostly solitary lives, are active around dawn and dusk, but their crepuscular nature and complex environment make them tricky as pets.
Caring for a Pet Platypus
A good space in which a platypus can explore should be provided. Platypuses should have access to large spaces, indoor pools, with some available basking areas in the house. Platypuses’ natural feeding habit of freshwater sources can be challenging to replicate in a domestic setup.
Pet Platypus Food
Wild platypuses feed mostly on invertebrates that live on the river and occasionally feed on things like frogs, insects, or fish close to the surface of the water. Their diet will vary based on the season and their exact habitat.
Keeping Your Pet Platypus Healthy
The lack of veterinarians specializing in platypuses makes it hard for owners to provide adequate care for their pets, leading to a shorter lifespan.
While platypuses are unusual, unusual pets can be quite demanding, illegal or dangerous. Reptiles are ideal, but research should be carried out to meet their specific needs. However, the illegal and exotic pet trade is a significant concern to animal welfare and environmental conservation. Hence, it is essential to choose exotic pets carefully.
Are You Interested in a Pet Platypus?
A platypus has unique features and may seem interesting; it is not legal or recommended in most parts of the world. Platypus care is too complex, making it difficult to maintain them The platypus is a dangerous pet, with few veterinarians specialized in it. Plenty of exotic pets require specific care investigation of the source of such pets, and a comprehensive account of their specific needs would be important before picking an exotic pet.
References and Resources
- Warren, W. (et al), ‘Genome Analysis of the Platypus Reveals Unique Signatures of Evolution’, Nature (2008)
- Grant, T. & Temple-Smith, P. ‘Conservation of the Platypus, Ornithorhynchus Anatinus: Threats and Challenges’, Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management (2003)
- Hawkins, M. & Battaglia, A. ‘Breeding Behavior of the Platypus (Ornithorhynchus Anatinus) in Captivity’, Australian Journal of Zoology (2009)
- Bino, G. (et al), ‘The Platypus: Evolutionary History, Biology, and an Uncertain Future’, Journal of Mammology (2019)
- Nuwer, R. ‘Many Exotic Pets Suffer or Die in Transit and Beyond – and the U.S. Government is Failing to Act’, National Geographic (2021)
- Whittington, C. & Belov, K. ‘Platypus Venom: A Review’, Australian Mammology (2007)
- McLachlan-Troup, T. (et al), ‘Diet and Dietary Selectivity of the Platypus in Relation to Season, Sex and Macroinvertebrae Assemblages’, Journal of Zoology (2010)
- Lockwood, J. (et al), ‘When Pets Become Pests: The Role of the Exotic Pet Trade in Producing Invasive Vertebrate Animals’, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment (2019)
- Bush, E. (et al), ‘Global Trade in Exotic Pets (2006 – 2012)’, Conservation Biology (2014)