TRAPPED, TANGLED, and struggling to breathe, this baby platypus was found lifeless with a fishing line around its bill along the Mary River on Sunday morning.

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It is believed the platypus, named Miley because it was found near Six Mile Creek, had suffered serious injuries from the fishing line tightly strewn around its bill for at least three to four days before kayaker Ben James made the discovery.

 

Miley the injured baby platypus was found near Six Mile after having a fishing line tangled around its neck on Sunday morning
Miley the injured baby platypus was found near Six Mile after having a fishing line tangled around its neck on Sunday morning Gympie ANARRA Rescue

Mr James cut the twisted fishing line from the tree branch to free the platypus and partly removed the fishing line around its bill before paddling back to his wife and three children to call for help.

"Ben used a knife and side cutters to get rid of the fishing line from its bill so the platypus could breathe a bit better," Mrs James said.

They then drove the injured platypus to Glastonbury where wildlife carers David and Paula Rowlands tended to it.

"The platypus was in a horrendous condition," Mrs Rowlands said.

"The line was knotted around its bill so we had to carefully cut around it to free the platypus and it was in its gills, in two places.

 

Miley the injured baby platypus was found near Six Mile after having a fishing line tangled around its neck on Sunday morning
Miley the injured baby platypus was found near Six Mile after having a fishing line tangled around its neck on Sunday morning Gympie ANARRA

"I opened up its bill and and you could see the bill was full of blood. Native animals don't show pain, but you could tell the poor thing was in heaps of pain."

"Platypus's are getting rarer these days because of all the s--- in the river."

Mrs James contacted the Australia Zoo wildlife hospital where an ambulance met them at Tuchekoi on Sunday afternoon.

Sadly due to massive head trauma, the injured platypus succumbed to its injuries several hours later.

"It breaks your heart," ANARRA wildlife volunteer Debbie Seal said.

 

This is the location where Kayaker Ben James found the injured and tangled platypus at Six Mile Creek on the Mary River on Sunday morning.
This is the location where Kayaker Ben James found the injured and tangled platypus at Six Mile Creek on the Mary River on Sunday morning. Sharon James

"I've been a wildlife volunteer on the hotline for 10 years and it's such a shocking incident.

"It's sad because had that fishing line not been in the river, the platypus would still be alive.

"I knew it wasn't going to make it as they're little delicate things and it would've been under a lot of stress.

"Platypus's are an iconic species in Australia so it's a massive loss to the community.

Ms Seal said it was an important reminder to all fisherman to take your equipment home and not to leave it in the waterways.    "Be a responsible fisherman. Take all your rubbish and don't leave anything in the waterways," she said.    It's also believed the platypus had swallowed the hook.   If you spot an injured or orphaned wildlife, please phone ANARRA wildlife rescue on 5484 9111.   
Gympie Times


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