Australia Hunts for Serial Platypus Killer Who Decapitates Victims

Who would deliberately kill a platypus? They’re cute, fun to watch and harmless. Nevertheless, New South Wales, Australia, seems to have a platypus serial killer on its hands.

Three platypuses have been found dead in the Albury Botanic Gardens during March and April of this year. Sadder still, the killer decapitated two of the animals.

A gardener found the first carcass in early March. Botanic Gardens visitors stumbled upon the other two bodies later on.

Initially, wildlife officials thought the first dead platypus might have been killed by foxes, natural predator of the animals. “Death by fox” was the working theory until two more carcasses showed up — without their heads.

A veterinarian confirmed that the most recently found platypus didn’t die naturally. Someone used a sharp object to hack off its head. It remains unclear if decapitation happened before or after the animals died.

“You could see where it was cut, where the spine was cut. You can actually see where they’ve tried to cut into the vertebrae,” Hazel Cook of the Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service (WIRES) told The Border Mail. “It’s very obvious it’s not a fox.”

Platypuses live in burrows near freshwater streams and ponds, but the Albury Botanic Gardens are a few blocks from the Murray River, however — a natural habitat for the playful mammal.

platypus underwater

Photo credit: Thinkstock

That said, the river is too far away for a platypus to venture willingly toward the gardens. Perhaps, however, it wasn’t so far for a killer wanting to dump bodies and attract maximum attention.

“These guys would not have got to the botanic gardens on their own,” Cook told The Guardian. “There’s no waterway running through there, just a council drain. We thought at first that they might have been caught accidentally by someone with illegal nets in the river but then why take them to the gardens?”

Why Is the Platypus a Protected Species?

The platypus is the official animal emblem of New South Wales. It’s a species native to Australia, and it is one of only two mammals to reproduce by laying eggs. About half the size of a domestic cat, the platypus is famous for its duck-like bill, beaver-like tail and otter-like feet.

The platypus — also known as the duck-billed platypus — requires protection now because until the early 20th century, hunters pursued it relentlessly for its beautiful, watertight, insulting fur. It would take up to 70 platypuses to make a single fur coat, so it’s easy to see why their numbers dwindled so precipitously.

swimming platypus

Photo credit: Thinkstock

The platypus is now protected under Australia’s National Parks and Wildlife Act of 1974.

Is This an Early Act of a Future Human Serial Killer?

As we all know by now, serial killers often begin their brutal lives of crime by torturing and killing animals. Alarm bells should be ringing in New South Wales right about now. Not only do they have someone who seems to take a peculiar delight in cruelly killing a sweet, protected species –- they may have a budding killer of humans, too.

This person needs to be found, stopped and punished. According to WIRES, the penalty for this offense can be a fine of up to $11,000 and/or six months imprisonment.

Australian citizens are understandably outraged by the killings, which pleases WIRES reps.

“These are just gentle little fellas who do no harm,” Cook told The Guardian. “It’s lovely to see that Australians are so upset about it – we want people to be angry.”

She’s right. Outrage means public pressure to solve the crime – not just for the platypuses, but for all future animal and human victims of this disturbed individual.

Photo credit: "NSW Wildlife, Rescue, Information & Education Service (WIRES)" Facebook page


Marie W
Marie W4 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

Melania P
Melania P6 months ago

Just sick, I hope this person is caught. I would torture him/her

Telica R
Telica R8 months ago

Very sick!! this person/people need to be tortured for this

Timothy A
Timothy A.8 months ago

I hope when they catch this person they sting them with Platypus venom at least twice. Since there is no antivenin, the suffering lasts forever. I hope this person dies slowly and painfully.

Marianne R
Marianne R9 months ago

A despicable human

Marianne R
Marianne R9 months ago

Can we decapitate him?

Jennifer H
Jennifer H9 months ago

Truly disturbing.

Marija M
Marija M9 months ago

tks for sharing

Diane McMahon
Diane McMahon9 months ago

Very sad. Needs to be caught and severely punished.

Ch Bradley
Ch B9 months ago

If this is truly a human doing this, it is a very sick individual indeed. Someone who has no compassion for living things needs to be found and stopped.