A young-looking platypus who became lost and confused during the extreme floods in south-east Queensland yesterday has survived after being given a helping hand by some friendly locals.
Canungra resident Jim Simpson was shocked to see one of the elusive creatures scurrying up a tyre track on the driveway of his home around 200m from the Canungra Creek in the Gold Coast hinterland at 10am (AEST) yesterday.
"We've had a lot of rain and I reckon he's got washed out of somewhere, got confused and just headed for high ground," Mr Simpson told ninemsn.
"He was buggered after such a huge trek."
He said the platypus tried to get away when he first approached it but soon calmed down.
"Once I took him up to the house and put him in a box with an old Drizabone raincoat he burrowed into that as if it was in a creek bank and curled up in a little ball and had a spell," he said.
Mr Simpson said he fed the monotreme and allowed it to rest before releasing it back into the creek just before nightfall.
Video of the platypus being returned to the wild shows the unique animal scurry down a tyre track before swimming back into the creek.
The long-time Canungra local said he was excited to see one of the traditionally shy creatures up close.
"I have lived in the area for 15 years and have never seen a platypus on land before," Mr Simpson said.
"It was just such an unusual event, I probably won't see it again."
Source: Jim Simpson
Author: Martin Zavan, approving editor: Mark Worley