Caring for Platypuses
Every morning, when the Safari Park’s animal care specialists arrive at the platypus habitat, they try hard not to wake the animals. They quietly peek in the nest boxes to check on the snoozing platypuses. The female, Eve, likes to curl up under her bedding. The male, Birra, sleeps on top of his towels.
While the platypuses keep snoozing, the staff cleans and stocks the pool with food. They put on waders and place three different kinds of crayfish in the water for the platypuses to eat. Around 8 a.m., Eve and Birra leave their nest boxes and start hunting.
Eve likes the small, brightly colored swamp crayfish the best. Birra enjoys the larger, mud-colored crayfish. They both hold their breath, close their eyes and ears as they swim underwater and use special receptors in their bill to find their food.
Much on the menu
In addition to crayfish, Eve and Birra will find live crickets, ghost shrimp, and different kinds of worms to eat. The platypuses only eat live food, so the animal care specialists don’t just take care of these mammals, they make sure the prey has clean living areas and healthy food, too!
Birra and Eve hunt for a bit, and when they’re full, they swim about exploring their pools. Their caregivers sometimes put big eucalyptus branches in the water, which gives the animals a different place to dive in and around. Taking care of such special animals is a lot of work, but platypuses are so interesting to watch! Check it out for yourself by watching our Platypus Cam.